BJP-BJD deadlock on seats

The gulf between alliance partners Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be widening after the second discussion on seat-sharing....

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published: February 23, 2009 11:59:17 pm

The gulf between alliance partners Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be widening after the second discussion on seat-sharing on Saturday between the two parties failed.

Even though the failure of the talks was widely anticipated,CM Naveen Patnaik’s strict instructions to his partymen to not budge from their demand of a 100 of the 147 Assembly seats,ensured their collapse. Patnaik was not present during the talks as he is mourning his mother,Gyan Patnaik’s death.

That Naveen has not quite forgotten BJP leader Sameer Dey’s allegation that the BJD won the Cuttack civic polls using ‘black money’ was evident by his choice of Steel and Mines Minister Pradip Amat,a political lightweight,to represent the BJD . The BJP,on the other hand,was represented by state unit president Suresh Pujari,national vice-president Jual Oram and MP Dharmendra Pradhan.

That the talks were headed the way of the failed February 11 meeting was evident soon after Amat made it clear that BJD would contest not less than 100 Assembly seats,16 seats more than those it contested in the 2004 election,on the basis of its increased winnability in the aftermath of delimitation of constituencies and BJP’s drubbing in the recent civic polls. However,the BJP too refused to budge.

A senior BJP leaders said that his party was prepared for “any eventuality”. “If Naveen continues to flex his muscle then we would be forced to go alone,” the BJP leader said.

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