Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday said his party will contest the Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections on its own.
Patnaik’s ruling out a pre-poll alliance is in line with the BJD’s known policy of keeping equal distance from national parties BJP and Congress, and groups led by them.
“We will fight the elections on our own,” he told reporters when asked if there was any likelihood of the BJD entering into a tie-up with other political parties for the parliamentary and assembly elections in the state.
On criteria for choosing candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, the BJD chief said winnability will be the yardstick.”Selection of candidates will be based on winnability,” he said.
The Chief Minister has already expressed confidence that the BJD will perform “very well” in the general and state elections.
Patnaik Monday had said the process for selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls was on and that a list of nominees would be finalised very soon.
The regional political party will field candidates in all 21 parliamentary and 147 assembly constituencies in Odisha.
In the 2014 elections, the BJD had grabbed a lion’s share of 20 Lok Sabha and 117 assembly seats as the party formed government for the fourth successive term in the state.
The Congress has already initiated discussions with non-BJD and non-BJP political parties like CPI, CPI (M) and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) for seat sharing adjustment in some parts of the state. The Congress party is likely to leave seven to eight assembly and three or four Lok Sabha seats to these parties, sources said.
The BJP, which has roped in some leaders from both the Congress and the BJD, is now eying support from leaders like Damodar Rout, Utkal Bharat president Kharabela Swain and former Union minister Braja Tripathy. The party is trying to get back its leaders Bijoy Mohapatra and Dillip Ray, who have recently left the party.
The state is all set to witness staggered polling this time with balloting slated to be held in four phases April 11, 18, 23 and 29 for the 21 Lok Sabha and 147 assembly seats.
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