Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani’s aim to become the next Prime Minister of the Country might spell a great disaster for the party’s State unit in Odisha. His silence during the Jan Chetna Yatra over the ruling BJD and public announcement that the BJP was “not so strong” in the State, has incurred wrath of the party leaders here.
BJD had unceremoniously dumped BJP in the last general elections. Ever since, BJD has been the “Enemy Number-1” of the party. In the last three years, the party has successfully raised numerous mining scams and irregularities in implementation of Central sponsor schemes, making dent into the BJD’s popularity base. The intensity of anger against Mr. Advani’s plan to embrace the BJD into the NDA fold was so high that almost all top leaders of the State BJP, burying their differences, held two rounds of discussions at the party headquarters here and later came with an announcement that under no circumstances the party would have any kind of electoral arrangement with the BJD.
“We want to make it clear that there will not be any kind of alliance with the BJD,” former BJP Legislature Party Leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan declared after the meeting. BJP National General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan, whose name was being discussed in political circles as the “go-between” Mr. Advani and BJD strategist Pyarimohan Mohapatra, also appeared before the media and rebuffed the possibility of the alliance.
While replying to a query at a Press Conference in Sambalpur on any possible tie-up with the BJD, Mr. Advani said, “I’m not ruling out anything.” He also said that he does not want to comment on any Chief Minister or State Government. The statements by the BJP stalwart had taken the steam out of the State BJP leaders’ earlier euphoria about the Jan Chetna Yatra. Most of the party leaders, including party State President Jual Oram and Bijoy Mohapatra, who have been breathing fire ever since BJD President and Chief Minister “unilaterally” snapped the ties, appeared disappointed. The situation came to such a pass that in Cuttack public rally State BJP President Jual Oram deliberately spoke in Hindi to express his frustration and anger.
“Dear Advaniji, I would like to remind you that when Naveen Patnaik broke the alliance with BJD in 2009, you wanted to talk to him through our emissary Chandan Mitra over telephone he refused to come on line. Chandran Mitra, who is present here, is the witness to this humiliation meted out to you. We cannot tolerate this. At least, I myself as a tribal leader would not bear such kind of behavior. I will not take rest until you take revenge of this humiliation,” Mr. Oram said.
A matured politician as he is, Mr. Advani had well read into the commotion in the State BJD camp and left for New Delhi on Monday evening cancelling his press meet and scheduled meetings with intellectuals.