Central leaders’ bonhomie with BJD leaves Odisha BJP red-faced

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 28:

Resentment is brewing among leaders and cadres of the Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Central leadership’s ‘soft’ approach towards the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the state.


State unit leaders recently heaped a pile of queries on state in-charge Arun Singh regarding the Central leaders’ lenient stance towards the BJD. They expressed their resentment during a high-level party meeting held three days ago.

With civic body elections in Rourkela and Sambalpur, the bastions of the saffron party, due in the next few months, the opposition party is feeling helpeless about the fact that the ruling party is walking away with all the credit for the IIM in Sambalpur.

As per party insiders, the state government had recommended setting up of the premier management institute on the outskirts of the capital city. It was BJP which pitched the demand for setting it up in western Odisha. No wonder the opposition party would like to take the credit for it.

But the exchange of official communication regarding reconsidering the IIM site between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union HRD Minister Smruti Irami and its outcome sends out a wrong signal to the partymen, they say.

“BJP has good presence in western Odisha. But the present scenario has changed. The Rourkela and Sambalpur municipal elections are round the corner and BJD will take all the credit for the setting up of the IIM in Sambalpur. If BJP cannot stake claim for the credit despite NDA government’s efforts to allocate IIM in western Odisha, will it not weaken the party’s organisation in western Odisha? If the Central leadership doesn’t realise this, then the prospects of BJP in the state will remain as it is and the BJD, which has strengthened its base with the support of BJP, will continue to boom in the state,” a senior BJP leader rued.

It was decided that classes at the temporary campus of the IIM-Sambalpur would begin from Sep 24. The Centre had no plans on inauguration of the temporary campus. However, Employment and Technical Education Training (ET &T) Minister Sanjay Das Burma inaugurated the campus a day before the commencement of classes. The state leaders are fuming and unable to apprehend why it did not do the formalities instead of leaving it to the state government.

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