Paradigm shift of BJD

by Priya Bharti

At the end of the year 2021, the CM Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) accomplished yet another breakthrough. On December 26 it celebrated its silver, hence getting to be not only the foremost effective but moreover the longest surviving regional party in Odisha.

The extraordinary victory of the BJD, which has turned into an election-winning machine, is independently capable for the rise of Patnaik, its preeminent leader and five-time chief minister of the state, as one of the foremost powerful regional satraps of the nation.

In its long and chequered political history, Odisha has seen the rise and drop of a few regional parties but none can be compared with BJD in terms of victory or life span.

Ganatantra Parishad driven by two effective royals, R.N. Singh Deo of Bolangir-Patna and P.K. Deo of Kalahandi, was the primary regional party of the state. Previously known as Koshala Utkal Praja Parishad, it was rechristened as Ganatantra Parishad in 1950. The party tasted political victory and remained the major opposition within the state for around a decade. It delighted in momentous support in western Odisha, where sovereignty used a parcel of power indeed after the abrogation of the privy satchel. In any case, the Parishad, which shared power with the Congress from May 1959 to February 1961, misplaced its autonomous identity around a year afterward following the merger with the Swatantra Party, a national political outfit.

Five a long time after Gantantra Parishad’s vanishing from Odisha’s political scene was born Jana Congress, the moment major regional party of the state beneath the authority of Dr Harekrushna Mahatab. In any case, its birth being the upshot of developing factionalism inside the Congress in those days, it was more power-oriented than centered on the regional issues of Odisha. Jana Congress shaped an amalgamation government within the state with the Swatantra party in 1967.

The birth of the Utkal Congress, a regional party driven by the charismatic Biju Patnaik in 1969, was one of the foremost imperative developments of the time of the ’60s and ’70s that witnessed massive political changes within the state. The rise of the Utkal Congress, which played a major part within the arrangement of a coalition government driven by Biswanath Sprint, was a tremendous blow to the Congress. But this regional party, as well, had a chequered history and blurred out of the state’s political canvas after many years.

Most political investigators concur that the regional party owes much of its victory to the sharp political insight of Patnaik, who in spite of making a or maybe reluctant entry into politics in 1997 upon his legendary father’s passing was speedy to memorize the ropes of the trade. Urbane and soft-spoken, he may scarcely talk Odia at the beginning of his career but he more than made up for this lack through his earnestness which offered to the voters who chosen him to the Lok Sabha from Aska in 1997 in a by-poll. Patnaik, who tied up with the BJP in 1998 in an intelligent move to solidify non-Congress votes and became a cabinet serve within the NDA government driven by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has not looked back.

Tapping into the prevalent outrage against the occupant Congress government of the state, which had absolutely fizzled to handle the repercussions of the 1999 super-cyclone, Patnaik has driven the BJD-BJP alliance to an unequivocal triumph within the 2000 assembly elections.

The alliance broke in 2009, clearly over the issue of seat-sharing but really since the BJD supremo, who had by at that point solidified his position and gained enough confidence, was tingling to urge freed of his coalition partner which was suspected to have fed the fires of the 2008 communal carnage in Kandhamal that sullied his common picture. The two parties battled the 2009 assembly surveys independently, with BJD scoring an unequivocal triumph while the BJP was decreased to just six seats within the state assembly, one of its most exceedingly bad electoral performances ever.

However, another critical factor contributing to Patnaik’s uninterrupted remain in power since 2000 is his capacity to peruse the prevalent beat and intelligent use of the slogan of Odia pride, which was first coined by his father Biju Patnaik. He battled the 2019 elections on the twin boards of execution and restoration of Odia pride, which spun around the requests of giving of special category status to Odisha and justice to the state on the issue of sharing of Mahanadi waters. The issue of Odia pride found a more concrete sign when the men’s hockey world cup 2018 was organized in Bhubaneswar for the first time and the capital city zoomed into universal focus.

As per the research well-known political analyst Professor says’ “The BJD remains synonymous with Naveen who is a master strategist. He knows how to make short work of enemies and has a plan ready for every election. He has consolidated his position over the years by launching a string of pro-poor initiatives and enhanced his reputation as a regional chieftain by taking up state-specific issues with the Centre. His rivals have utterly failed to match his political astuteness,”.

While senior BJD leader and former minister Rabi Narayan Nanda also attributed his party’s success to the vision and pro-people attitude of the chief minister and asserted that it faced no challenge from any of its so-called rivals, state BJP general secretary Pruthviraj Harichandan rubbished the claim, saying that Naveen Patnaik was still taking advantage of the goodwill that the BJD-BJP coalition government had generated between 2000 and 2009 primarily due to the achievements of BJP ministers. Harichandan further says, “The present BJD government led by Naveen Babu has done nothing for the people. It survives on stunts which will not carry it far,”.

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