While speaking on the violent scenario in Bengal allegedly unleashed by the Mamata Banerjee-led dispensation there, Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah held a brief for Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik for creating a violent-free atmosphere throughout the electioneering in the state.
The tenor of Shah’s compliment can’t escape the attention of the political observers. On the backdrop of a series of bitter trading of barbs between Patnaik and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Shah combine, the softening in attitude shown by the BJP speaks a lot. We need each other, is the kind of allusion that remains the premise at a time when the results are to be out in days time.
It is not about who needs whom but, the changing climate between the both is an ostensible indication at a rejuvenation of the old bonhomie in which BJP’s quest to create a preparedness before the blitzkrieg that May 23 may unleash!
During his recent visit to Odisha, after the state was devastated by the cyclonic outrage triggered by Fani, the PM was a transformed man. After his survey of the affected areas the PM poured praise on Naveen Patnaik for the latter’s commendable handling of the situation post Fani and announced a package of Rs.1000 crore. There was not a word of criticism that any opposition is addicted with even at worst of times.
Now, BJP president Amit Shah, addressing the media in Delhi, kept Odisha CM on a high pedestal of leadership for managing a violence free electoral process in Odisha. That can’t be seen as a mere back-handed compliment. It was a kind of cementing balm that BJP wanted to anoint the BJD with.
It was something quite in contrast to the tone of Shah who otherwise tried many times in the past to politically demean Patnaik with the use of sobriquets such as ‘burnt transformer’ with use of terminologies normally viewed with discomfort in decent politics.
The visiting central team now in Odisha to make an assessment of the damages caused by the cyclone also heaped praises on the local government for its apt handling of the situation mainly on relief and restoration measures with all sincerity.
When there are signs of a combo of prospects of a comeback and unavoidable premonitions also starring on the face, Modi has a reason to rediscover a friend in Patnaik who had stood by him in most difficult times. With predictions of BJD making it again towards a comfortable number in the assembly and in the Lok Sabha, arithmetic shows that BJD is likely to have the lion’s share if not a sweep as in 2014. All said and done, Patnaik enjoys an envious position for many and the BJP in particular.