Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, April 20:
Even as the political pundits and political parties in Odisha are busy calculating the poll arithmetic to arrive at the final numbers, the capital city is abuzz with speculations as people everywhere are found discussing the possible results of the poll and with the final announcement nearly a month away, this has become the staple of all gossips at homes, offices and tea joints across the city.
While some people predict the state will see a change after 15 years, some want a strong opposition in the state Assembly so that the ruling party cannot take the House for granted and pass the important Bills without any discussion by the force of its brute majority.
“I think BJD will come to power for the fourth consecutive time in the state and Narendra Modi at the Centre. People have voted BJD for Assembly and BJP for Lok Sabha polls. However, unlike in 2009 BJD would not come to power with a thumping majority. The regional party may get 80 to 85 seats this time,” says Naresh Sahu, an IT professional whome we met at a tea shop ‘adda’ near Jaydev Bhawan here.
Sahu says the opposition parties have failed to take advantage of the rebel factor and that would help the ruling party form the next government despite of the public anger against the party.
However, Samar Behera, owner of petty kirana shop, predicts that no political party would reach the magic number 74 this time and there will be a hung Assembly in the state.
“No political party can form the government single handedly. BJP will increase its tally following the Modi wave while Congress will benefit out of the BJP and BJD fight. So, there will be a hung Assembly and the BJD, which will emerge as largest party in the elections will have no option than to forge an alliance with its old ally BJP,” Behera says.
Rajesh Mohapatra, a teacher by profession, has nothing to do with politics and least interested about who forms the next government. He only wants a strong opposition to be there in Assembly so that the government does not become arrogant and corrupt.
“Had there been a strong opposition in the state Assembly, the BJD government could not have got away with the anti-people policies during the last 15 years. The main opposition was weak and ineffective in the last assembly. Just see how the former Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh joined the ruling party days before the elections, proving that there was actually no opposition and they were only cheating the gullible people by engaging in mock fight,” says Mohapatra.