Bhubaneswar: Against the backdrop of signs that the BJP could win the highest number of seats in Karnataka Assembly, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders here have said results from the Southern state will not affect Odisha.
“Karnataka elections won’t have any impact in Odisha as people of the state are always with BJD,” BJD vice-president and food minister Surya Narayan Patro said. Patro further claimed there was no alternative to the BJD in Odisha and that the ruling dispensation will perform well in the 2019 Assembly and general elections.
Another party leader, Prafulla Samal, said parties that faced defeat in Karnataka were not with the people. “Those parties have also been rejected by the people of Odisha constantly,” he added. Samal went on to say that the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government was always with the people of the state and that the party, which has been voted to power for four consecutive terms, is growing in popularity with each election.
State Congress and BJP leaders, however, said they foresee a repeat of Karnataka in the state. “It seems the anti-incumbency factor has worked in Karnataka and the same will work in Odisha in 2019 elections,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik said. “Our party has already started its ground work in this regard,” he said.
Newly appointed Odisha Congress in-charge Jitendra Singh, who is on a three-day visit to the state from Monday, said, “We will analyse our defeat in Karnataka and will find out whether anti-incumbency worked against us or whether our campaign failed.”
BJP state-unit leader Pratap Sarangi, in turn, said: “Our victory in Karnataka was a step towards ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ and now the BJP is focused on ‘BJD Mukt Odisha’ in the 2019 elections.”