By D.N. Singh
Amid all euphoria that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has virtually made it to the victory-stand, but that does not end the exercise at the respective war-rooms for a hind-sight review. Politics is such an indestructible phenomenon that no such intermittent break can sag the will of a politician. Be it Fani or whatsoever. The show must go on.
A prognosis that can be made out of an internal post poll survey by the ruling party may lend credence to the fear that, the Biju Janata Dal, despite its surge into 2019, an era that may go down in political history of Odisha, somewhere and somehow, some calculations might have gone wrong for which the BJD may have to pay a small price.
Known for its stronghold in many parts of the urban areas, BJD camp is believed to have engaged itself in a kind of soul searching both in coastal and few western parts where did it play its cards wrong, may be.
Foremost among them, in Western Odisha, is, Sundergarh where the ruling party may not fair so well and the chances for a political novice Sunita Biswal, appear bleak. Same is the situation in Koraput and Sambalpur where the post-poll internal survey foresee dim prospects for the BJD candidates.
Also in focus
Although the Bharatiya Janata Party engages itself in self-back patting to keep its target at winning about 55 to 60 assembly seats but what comes out from the ground reality is, such calculations are bit unrealistic. But that does not suffice to console the BJD in some prominent and highly urban Lok sabha seats which the political pundits look at with a bit of pessimism, albeit not with entire despair.
Although chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s chances of staging a comeback look to be a foregone issue but the party’s miscalculation in the selection of some Lok sabha candidates for a few prestigious seats like Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and even Puri beep signals that may upset the BJD.
Regardless of the alleged arrogance of the BJP candidate for Bhubaneswar lok sabha, Aparajita Sarangi, she had been in the limelight from her days in the government as an IAS and having hogged a limelight that today helps her to mitigate the traits of unfamiliarity which usually works against in politics. Contrary to that, the BJD candidate for the same seat, Arup Patnaik, is not only a new face but the latter did not have enough time to gel himself as politician in Odisha.
A retired IPS and a man who had enjoyed a walk-the-talk reputation as a good cop in Mumbai, is alien to politics and the capital city as well.
Cuttack Lok sabha seat , a virtual bastion of the BJD for over a decade, this time witnessed a very peculiar situation. The sitting Lok sabha BJD MP, Bhatruhari Mehtab, known as a good parliamentarian, not only suffers from the anti-incumbency factor but it was a battle between a politician for years and a retired IPS of repute Prakash Mishra, known for his probity, something that today’s politics is pathetically ridden off. That may prove to be an advantage for Mishra who enjoys his image and the Modi factor too.
Next comes the land of lord Jagannath where the pitch is no less tricky. Like Bhatruhari in Cuttack, in Puri the sitting MP Pinakhi Mishra was in an edgy premise fraught with the erosion of some grass-root popularity. Mishra had to match the theatrics in the campaigns of BJP’s imperious national spokesman Sambit Patra, who loves speaking over others in studios and so he did in Puri overplaying the cards of virtuosity.
If the BJD’s internal survey is anything to go by,, available to the media also, there was a pressing need for a coarse correction by the BJD which it did not, may be driven by some considerations that the post May 23 phase may reveal for the next lesson.