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Will Shah’s Odisha visit confuse BJP workers instead of instilling confidence?


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Bhubaneswar (Odisha Connect): Union home minister Amit Shah’s ongoing visit to Odisha is meant for political negotiations only. Though, the government has fixed some ‘important’ review and inauguration meetings to host Shah, the analytical minds smell something cooking for the 2024 elections.

In the recent past, the Biju Janata Dal supported the Bharatiya Janata Party in Parliament over the Delhi NCR administration amendment bill and the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition parties.  Political leaders and observers in India have labelled this incident as going against the BJD’s “equidistance” approach. Even they criticized the regional party for leaning towards the ruling party in the Centre.

The media criticizes this relationship and speculates a negotiated fight for 2024 elections. This strategy of BJD and central leaders of BJP has also created troubles at the regional level for workers of both parties.  Especially, party workers of the BJP are in dilemma and hope that Shah, the chief strategy manager, will make the party’s stand clear on his visit to the state today. The new executive committee, declared just ahead of Shah’s visit, is eagerly waiting to listen to and inspired by the second in command of BJP at the canter. But the question is, will Shah be able to heal the wound of the workers at the ground level? Will he be clear that the BJP has no political relationship with the BJD or they are not going to fight the 2024 election under a covert pact?

As per the government planned engagements, Shah will chair review meetings on steps taken to counter left-wing extremism in Odisha and the need for further actions. He will also inaugurate two road projects virtually from the state secretariat. As we all know, besides being the home minister Shah is also the minister for cooperation and the powerful key behind the BJP’s political strategies. But instead of planning the inauguration of any project related to ministries under him, Odisha has chosen works related the road and surface transport ministry, which is also being ratified by him. On the other hand, if he wanted to keep a public impression of his visit, he could have gone to the spot instead of inaugurating the same projects from the air conditioned conference hall in Bhubaneswar. This can also be organized by the ministry, which is technology-driven, at any time in Delhi.  But supporting Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s itinerary reflects his submission towards this long-serving chief minister. 

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