Hairsplitting match at Patkura, a hamstrung opposition bowls to an in-form BJD

Naveen’s rancour at Modi or Bijoy Mohapatra was missing in Patkura. Was it a Freudian slip or change of heart!

Samikhsya Bureau

Amid the hullabaloo about the election for the Patkura assembly seat, it is not only the feverish pitch at which the campaign goes on but, back home the anxiety among the opposition is  getting more interesting.

It is, as it does appear, like a situation where the Biju Janata Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party and to an extent the Congress are churning the event with such electrifying fervour that, sometimes, it appears to be a festival for the leaders only , rather than the voters.

Patkura, for a change has become a political destination and the entrenched jealousy, between the BJD and the BJP, whether real or just purported, offers a pack of entertainment for poll watchers but confusing for the people on the ground.

The common buzz in the saffron camp is -Naveen Patnaik has taken the pledge not to allow Bijoy Mohapatra, the BJP candidate and a protagonist by default, to re-enter the Assembly. But, in an election of this kind that has been politically so overhyped, a sense of overdrive in a common feature.

The BJP, mainly watching the BJP spokespersons in television debates, gives an impression that, Naveen Patnaik has, as if, committed a historical blunder by attaching so much importance to Patkura polls and, moreover, by himself being in Patkura on Wednesday for a 50km drive on-the-wheel campaign, Naveen has sullied the principles of his legendary father late Biju Patnaik, who never ever campaigned for any by-poll.

That caught the opposition on the wrong footing because Patkura is not a by-poll but a poll as any other. If Naveen went there to campaign, so what went wrong ! Given the fact that he is the only star campaigner and in essence, the only leader who matters, there is nothing unethical or politically incorrect.

There is no reason for the BJP to be so niggling about it. What is more interesting that, some news anchors in few channels can be seen doing the opposition (BJP) role presupposing the intention of BJD not to allow Mohapatra back into the Assembly.

If Patkura is not important then why a brigade 40 star campaigners from the BJP (by whichever yardstick) are there in Patkura ? All have the same goal post, victory for their candidate.

It would have been wise for the opposition to leave something for the voters of Patkura and would have been better for the BJD not to be so hypercritical about the outcome which is, perhaps, a foregone one.