By D.N. Singh
In the recent elections, the scene was somewhat very bellicose as the Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared engaged in a kind of fierce battle to claim their place. At few occasions the situations were like an operation for supremacy by both.
Today, the situation is so different. When the BJP on Monday brought the adjournment motion on post Cyclone Fani, it was admitted while the one that was brought by the Congress was somehow side-lined creating a situation when the chair found it difficult to continue with the business of the house. However, at last, post an all-party meeting, the Congress was cajoled to silence and took part in the motion brought by the BJP.
It was an amusing political role-reversal or if one can say, ‘operation was successful but the patient is dead’. When the patient, in essence, was the animus between the BJD and BJP, which was once viewed to be the tool that would have ensured the strength of an opposition to checkmate the people in power, that is no more.
That has resulted in a climate of ceasefire between the two leaving the Congress with the role of a chronicle teller only. Except Congress veteran Tara Prasad Bahinipati, known for his hyperactive mode of protests, the ruling party has little to fear from a suave and composed Narasingha Mishra who heads the nine-member squad of the Congress in the house, and others. It is a nine-Congress MLA conglomeration fondly named as ‘ Naba Graha’.
Without going back into plethora of occasions when the BJD and BJP had inched closer towards an unwritten truce, the ceasefire scarf was, in fact, hurled when the BJD openly agreed to support BJP nominated Ashwini Vaishnav’s candidature to Rajya Sabha. That saw the sabre-rattling BJP transformed into a good neighbour next door.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who has been always seen in total discomfiture at the time of heightened uproars in the house, must be at ease with a person like Pradipta Nayak, of the BJP, as the leader of opposition in the house.
In the entire episode, obviously, Patnaik and his colleagues are not only in an enviable position but the friendly dispositions of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards has made things more easy for the former.
But, it is an interesting yet unenviable situation the BJP in Odisha is in. They must be wondering at a definition of an opposition party or at best, till the time of next general elections, the saffron should be happy to be a lame-duck.