Analysis

Stealing steam out of BJD bogey

By AK SAHOO

Bhubaneswar, April 25: The Congress’s announcement on Wednesday to organise Mahanadi Banchao movement in western Odisha may sound as mere political gimmick by the beleaguered party; – but it is certainly not going to evaporate soon into vapours without leaving significant ramifications in the state politics.

Until Wednesday, the ruling BJD claimed sole moral right over holding rallies with regard to Mahanadi water row; – constantly blaming the BJP government at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh. It goes without saying that the party has derived much political mileage out of the issue.

Now that the Congress, which was lying low for all these years, largely because of lack of unity among top leaders of the state; – has jumped into the bandwagon accusing both the BJD and BJP for the mess; – the issue is going to get confused.

The confusion which appears more to be a deliberate and intended move by the Congress, according to experts, will take steam out of the BJD’s sole claim that it is the only party which is championing the cause of the protection of the river.

The BJP, on the other hand, stands to lose nothing. Steadily crawling on its own strength towards a position of reckoning, the party will be more than happy as its two bitter rivals sweat it out in the open to share the Mahanadi pie.

Experts foresee the BJD would now shift its focus to the Congress from the BJP as the former, under its new state president Niranjan Patnaik is most likely cut into its vote base. The regional party appears to be worried that the Congress voters it had wooed in the past few years might again return to their own fold as the new PCC chief has admittedly the skill to get them.

The saffron camp, as grapevine has it, – is quite elated at the new development. As the Mahanadi water row gets more muddy and the two traditional rivals goes overdrive over it; the BJP now has the golden opportunity to make a cloak-and-dagger departure from the scene and concentrate on its positive campaigning. It would now get time on fight the elections on development planks.

Now, that the demand of the BJD and Congress to form a tribunal has been met with; the two political parties have literally lost the plot and they cannot sustain for long to keep the Mahanadi issue on top of their agenda. They have to scout for some other issue it they want to remain in the reckoning.

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