By Amarendra Mohanty
Every product normally goes through the following stages; Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. The same is also applicable in case of political parties based on the historical data. It was the rise of BJP & NDA during 1998-2004 under the leadership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. When almost everyone was writing off Congress, it stormed to power under United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2004 and continued to rule till 2014. Congress National President Smt. Sonia Gandhi was the chairperson of the UPA and was considered to be more powerful during the UPA regime. Then the Modi era begins in 2014 when BJP alone got the majority in the Lok Sabha election under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. The Modi era continues to be stronger barring a temporary setback in Bihar and Delhi assembly elections. It is unlikely to stop the Modi juggernaut till 2024 as BJP relentlessly tastes victory march in election after election till date.
Coming to Odisha, a regional party BJD led by Naveen Patnaik has been in power continuously for last 17 years. It’s a great achievement by a leader leading a regional party and being sworn as Chief Minister (CM) for 4th consecutive terms. In compared to regional party, National parties have more resources and more star campaigners. BJD was successful to defend Modi magic in 2014 general election. But as the situation changes dynamically, can Naveen be able to save BJD from TsuNamo in 2019. Remember, he was widely praised for handling cyclone Phailin in Odisha in 2013.
Congress made SM Krishna and N. D. Tiwari CM, Central Minister and Governor but they both joined BJP for reasons best known to them. Vijay Bahuguna, the former CM of Uttarakhand also switched the side and joined BJP and so is Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the former UPCC chief who is now a cabinet minister in UP Govt. We had seen the same thing when BJP led NDA lost power at Centre, few leaders either switched party or floated their own outfits. Leaders like Biswabhusan Harichandan could have been a cabinet Minister, had he joined the BJD but he prefers to be in his party BJP. It’s difficult to find a leader like Shri L K Advani these days, a man of highest integrity who helps BJP to rise from 2 to 182 and has never compromised his principles and ideology.
The rising of vote share as well as surge in seats in recent concluded Panchayat elections brought cheers among BJP cadres across the state in Odisha. Even PM Modi didn’t forget to mention this victory in an election rally at UP. As each party wants to spread their wings, it seems Odisha is in the list of BJP where it wants to wrest the power from ruling BJD. Sensing the growing popularity of BJP and PM Modi, few leaders may jump from other parties for their own survival and benefit. Odisha has experienced many important leaders including Leader of Oppositions also joined BJD earlier and rewarded with plum posts in party, Govt or a RS berth. So it is continuous process and opportunistic politicians are usually inclined to be with winning side. But they should remember every product has its own cycle!
Amarendra Mohanty, IT Professional, Research Scholar & Social Worker. Twitter- @AmarendraM
By Amarendra Mohanty