Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik Tuesday accused the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of “rank opportunism” and of turning Odisha politics into a “theatre of the absurd”.

Niranjan who is a former president of the state unit of the Congress said the ruling party, led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is looking for ways to poach from other parties just to weaken the opposition and somehow win the election.

“In a democracy, opposition represents an ideological divide and a set of alternative agenda,” Niranjan said.

Accusing the chief minister of attempting to create a smoke screen around his party’s failure and divert public attention from important political issues, the Congress leader said he hoped people would reject the kind of politics being played in the state.

He said Odisha has become the most backward state in the country after 14 years of BJD rule and despite huge central assistance in the last decade.

“BJD is trying to create a situation as if there are no issues, no ideological divide and election is about rank opportunism,” he said, referring to the entrance of several leaders of other parties in the BJD.

“Naveen ‘babu’ wants to appear to be acceptable as a leader to everybody. This cannot be good for democracy, nor is there any statesmanship evident in what is going on,” said Niranjan.

“Odisha deserves better politics than this. After 14 years in politics, BJD is unable to find winning candidates in many areas and is therefore poaching for leaders from other parties,” he said.

“This cannot be construed as either good or an indicator of success. What Naveen ‘babu’ has done is not based on any ‘principle’ or ‘ideology’. This is just Machiavellian power play,” he said.

The senior Congress leader also expressed his sadness that the opposition failed to sort out internal issues despite his repeated and timely advice and created an impression of abject capitulation to BJD’s opportunist brand of politics.

Source: IANS