No split yet, but Naveen’s BJD a party divided

first_imgAlthough a split in the Biju Janata Dal’s Parliamentary Party has been averted for the time being following a series of tweets by BJD’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Tathagata Satpathy, the BJP does not seem to have given up hopes as yet.According to sources in the saffron party, at least two BJD Lok Sabha members are working towards engineering a split in their Parliamentary party at the instance of national-level BJP leaders. “While BJD MP Baijayant Panda has been furthering the BJP’s cause through his writings and tweets, another junior MP is working behind the curtains,” said a BJP member in Odisha, who wished not to be named.BJP plans meet“Anything could happen in the BJD Parliamentary Party after the BJP’s forthcoming national executive meeting in Bhubaneswar,” the member added.The meet, which will be organised from April 15-16, will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah, besides Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of all BJP-ruled States.Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is being projected as the BJP’s new face in Odisha, had said on Sunday that the party’s strategy for the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State in 2019 would be discussed at the event.Mr. Satpathy had tweeted last week that the saffron party was working towards causing a rebellion, if not a split, against the Naveen Patnaik government ahead of the polls. If that happens, Mr. Patnaik might face a rebellion in the Assembly, leading to imposition of the President’s rule in the State.Although the BJP never enjoyed a strong presence at the grassroots level, it struck gold when it replaced the Congress, the BJD’s traditional rival, in the three-tier panchayat elections in February. The BJP is also using the alleged infighting within the Odisha unit of the Congress to its advantage.At the bicentenary celebrations of the Paika mutiny that the BJP is planning to organise later this year, some prominent Congress leaders are likely to join the party, said sources.See also Page 8last_img

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