By Biswaraj Patnaik, February 28, 2018: Mrs Rita Sahu of BJD wins with a massive margin. The trailing BJP is just a blot in the horizon. No point talking about Congress as the long washed out party had given up from the beginning, except for the fact that senile characters like Suresh Kumar Routaray were making mad claims of victory. The BJP guys will now start a new chapter of blame game. They will keep harping for quite some time that huge money and muscle power were used and abused by the ruling BJD.

When popular Congress leader Subala Sahu died untimely, the BJP began dreaming of grabbing the seat by hook or by crook. The BJP super brains dispatched saffron goons to storm into the residence of Naveen’s private secretary, ransacked and vandalised the campus and personal property, beat and roughed up the dutiful staff and hurled choicest abuses when only the lady of the house, herself a top bureaucrat, was inside with two little kids.

The dastardly act was condemned by all and the BJP biggie’s too had to admit the grave blunder because the public reaction turned rather too intense. Later again, when the Bijepur election campaigns were in full steam, some crazy BJP strategists imagined throwing footwear at the chief minister would bear impressive results. The insane action would persuade people to believe that the Bijepur electorate was disgusted and disappointed by the Naveen administration as the voters were craving for a change of guard. This stupid act by a young fellow without head too brought the saffron gang infamy and universal condemnation.

The BJD had inducted much earlier a few popular, leading movie figures, mostly young and adorable actors that amused people. The BJP planners imagined with their infertile mind that the movie guys have brought victory to the ruling party lately. So they looked around and found a few residual, tired, ‘difficult to recognize’, timid movie actors of yesteryears waiting eagerly to grab an opportunity for being back in public glare once again. These characters and some legal professionals ganged up, neither of them with much strength or stamina, to keep wasting precious time and cause doom to the saffron outfit in Odisha much earlier than it would have happened if they had not shown up.

The Odisha BJP outfit is a disillusioned lot. They have never been able to figure out what works and what causes ‘image damage’. They have never even wanted to know the ground realities elsewhere in India. The Modi-Shah magic has already waned in their previous bastions like Goa and Gujarat. The saffron party is just surviving only because of fellows like Parrikar and Nitish Kumar in the fold. Further, they have a few spokespersons like Sambit Patra that have kept their intellectual status in a credible stature.


The Modi wave has never been of any consequence in Odisha. Modi and Shah are not considered heroes because they are still not conclusively out of the Godhra riot case. Amit Shah has more problems including a few false encounter cases chasing him. That they are in power now, the central agencies are allegedly put to best use for organising permanent clean chits for them.

Modi is out of favour of the party patriarchs and the stalwarts who gave their blood and sweat to bring up the party from nowhere. But the current rumour is that the ruling members are engaged methodically to amass wealth by any means. The cash-flush corporates are kept in best humour and anyone willing to pay up is welcome with the red carpet rolled out without delay.

There was talk of some Modi magic growing in intensity by the day. But the Naveen enigma has invariably destroyed it in Odisha. In any battle between the most talkative Modi and the serenely reticent Naveen, people have witnessed only clean walkover by the latter, at least so far.

The image factor is just mind boggling. Modi keeps screaming malicious rhetoric against the opponents, saying that he alone is the saviour around here. He seems to have forgotten the simple fact that if he had not been put in the PM’s chair, he would still be dreaming of the climes beyond the borders of India. As per the international norms, no head of state can be denied a visa to any country. Thus for the first one year, Modi turned a revengeful tourist across the nations that had declared him unfit to enter.

This God-given status has been used by him to the hilt. In the opening phase, he capitalised on his having been a humble ‘tea seller’. Now he is into more amusing theatrics: hugging the heads of states and dignitaries that come near him. The political commentators have termed this act ‘hugplomacy’ meaning ‘hug and achieve by emotional blackmail’. That’s not bad as long as he really does good to the nation.

But his rabid desire to turn all states saffron is not in the best interests of democracy. He has to make space for all if India is to shine across the world. The whole world knows that great marketing brains had worked for the BJP campaign designs. Such designs work only one first time. Then people get to know that the theatre is over as they keep witnessing the realities. That’s what has happened to the BJP today, which smart ones like Amit Shah don’t seem to realise.

So, the Odisha BJP is conclusively demolished yet once again. The Bijepur fight has been proved to be the precursor to the 2019 battle. Naveen is cool as usual and the BJD is more buoyant than ever before. As forecast, foretold and predicted by people with functioning heads, the BJP has bitten loads of dust, much more than people imagined. They will have to gulp down a great volume of fluids to wash down the dust lest it should choke them permanently in Odisha. But it’s sure their 2019 prospects are completely ruled out.

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