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BJD-BJP Alliance: Secular Stance Compromised?


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“Each and Every bone of my body is secular.” This is what Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said when he severed ties with the BJP before the elections in 2009.

Patnaik said he was forced to break the BJD’s alliance with the BJP because he was pained by the anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal in 2008, which were supposedly engineered by the RSS and the BJP. After the 2009 elections, the BJD emerged stronger and the BJP bit the dust.

But after 2019, the BJP consolidated its position and became the main opposition of the state. Interestingly, though the BJD faced challenges from the BJP in the state, it never opposed the BJP at the national level. Rather, it supported all important bills brought by the BJP in Parliament.

Now just before the 2024 elections, there are strong speculations about the BJD going for an alliance with the BJP. If that becomes true what will happen to the “secular bones” of Patnaik?

During the Kandhamal riots, many people went through untold miseries. More than 35 people were killed and hundreds became homeless. Will they forget about what happened to them? Will they trust the BJD and Patnaik?

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