BJD veteran Dama Rout gives fresh life to alliance talks in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Political temperature in Odisha soared on Monday after BJD Vice President and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout said his party is ready to tie up with Congress to fight against BJP in the State.

Rout, who is known for his unfiltered statements, said it to be his personal view but the final call in this regard, will be taken by BJD President (Naveen Patnaik).

Coming down heavily on the BJP, the BJD veteran said the saffron party is inciting communal tension in the States, which is harmful in a democracy.

To stop BJP coming to power in the State, Rout said his party is ready for alliance with non-BJP parties which share the same ideology like BJD.

He also said his party has been maintaining equidistance from BJP and Congress since 2009.

“Congress is a secular party which believes in democratic set up and so our party. Time has come to unite all the non-BJP and anti-communal political outfits to come together to fight against the saffron front,” Rout said.

“We will welcome if the Congress joins us,” he added saying the  grand old party can submit a list of candidates with high winning chance in the 147 Assembly seats for the 2019 elections.

Rout offered the above formula to derail the BJP’s 120+ mission in the State in 2019.

“If they (Congress) come up with a list of probable winning candidates, it can be taken into consideration by our party,” Rout said by adding the current status of the age-old party is not so good in the State.

Interestingly, other BJD leaders were quick to drop the idea offered by Rout by saying their party will alone fight against BJP.

“There is no need of alliance, BJD can take on BJP alone in the next Assembly elections in the State,” said party MP Kalikesh Sigh Deo.

Playing it safe, senior BJD leader and Food Supplies Minister Surya Narayan Patro said party Supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the right person to take a decision on it.

“It’s his (Rout) personal opinion,” Patro added.

Reacting to Rout’s statements, Odisha Pradesh Congress said they are fighting against both BJP and BJD in the state.

“We are fighting both BJD and BJP in Odisha and when it comes to alliance with BJD, the AICC (All India Congress Committee) can take a decision on it,” said Odisha Congress Chief Prasad Harichandan.

Meanwhile, State BJP leaders saw proof in their claim of BJD-Congress nexus following Rout’s statements.

“Now, BJD is trying to use Congress as its crutches to win the next elections,” claimed State BJP leader Dilip Mohanty.

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