Bhubaneswar: Based on the exit polls in the Lok Sabha election, 2019, regional parties have started preparing their respective strategies for the period that will follow 23 May. Odisha-based BJD has indicated that if the results on 23 May are like those shown in the exit polls, and the NDA forms the government at the Centre, it could join the dispensation.
BJD spokesman Amar Patnaik cleared the position of his party’s choice for coalition after 23 May in a discussion on Times Now.
Condition put forth by BJD
After the initial fire and brimstone, the prime minister had mellowed down his sharp attacks on the Odisha chief minister. Not only that, while criticising Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he praised Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for dealing efficiently with Cyclone Fani.
The BJD spokesman said on Monday that the party would support the coalition that meets “our legitimate demands”. “If the NDA makes government, we can support it,” he said.
Amar Patnaik said, “Whoever understands our issues, like special category (for Odisha), we will be with them.” The BJD spokesman said that his party would support the party or the coalition that will be in the situation of forming a government at the Centre.
The BJD spokesman said, “We will probably support the party or coalition that will be in the condition of forming a government at the Centre.” However, this coalition will happen under a condition. Amar said, “We will support only those combinations or those coalitions that will support our legitimate demands of special status. If this is taken care of then we can be part of any coalition.”
A State in India is declared special normally if it has an international border. The Centre, irrespective of which party or coalition forms the government after 23 May, will find giving Odisha the special status as difficult as it found giving it to Andhra Pradesh. Or maybe more difficult because Odisha does not have the reason of bifurcation, which reduced its resources like the separation of Telangana did to Andhra Pradesh.
The results of the exit polls last evening after the last phase of the Lok Sabha election on Sunday indicate an NDA government will be formed once again at the Centre.
BJD-BJP secret pact?
According to the exit poll of Times Now-VMR, in Odisha, out of 21 Lok Sabha seats, BJP can get 12 and BJD 8 seats. Almost all exit polls show the NDA getting an absolute majority. The clear picture will emerge after the results come out on 23 May.
Sources in the BJP and BJD told Sirf News that there had been an arrangement between the two parties under which the national party assured the regional one that the latter would be allowed to retain the State virtually unchallenged during the Assembly election; however, a real challenge would be thrown at the BJD at the Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, the parleys for a post-poll alliance is on among different opposition parties that are hoping against hope that the exit polls prove wrong. On Monday morning, Akhilesh Yadav met with BSP chief Mayawati. The two leaders discussed for an hour the possibilities of such a scenario.
N Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar is actively mobilising some of the opposition leaders. The Congress, in the meantime, is weighing its options.