Politics Get Murkier

Mahatma Gandhi once described Politics without principles as a danger to human virtues. However now in Odisha it experienced as both Governing Party and Opposition Brigade are opting for opportunistic politics and things are getting murkier with undignified competition.
Odisha Politics appears to have hit a new low recently with the state’s two major parties- the ruling BJD and opposition BJP, entering in an undignified competition. Political Turncoats, who were looked down by common people are given Red Carpet Treatment by both Governing Party and Opposition Brigade.
Never before in the history of Odisha Politics, the widow of a late opposition  MLA was offered party ticket by a ruling party. Late Subal Sahu’s wife Rita Sahu has been made a BJD candidate even before notification for the by-elections is issued by the Election Commission of India.
Rita Sahu and her son joined BJD on September 23, just 31 days after the untimely death of Bijepur MLA Subal Sahu. The BJD took the decision to give party ticket to Subal’s widow despite opposition from the party’s rank and file in Bargarh district. It is another matter that BJD had earlier made Hema Gamang as its candidate even though Giridhar Gamang was in opposition Congress.   
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is has always claimed to be on high moral grounds and a highly disciplined political party also undertook similar exercise while presenting Red Carpet to a Political Turncoat, Ashok Panigrahi.
Taking a decision akin to Naveen Patnaik, the BJP has already taken former BJD MLA Ashok Kumar Panigrahi to its fold.
The Political Turncoats, of course are willing to fit into any robe and definitely, and unabashedly, subjugate a political party’s high ideological blinders.
Time and again it has been proved that horse traders rejected by people. However BJP is favoring these elements giving a respectable name of “Misran Parv”, where political turn coats are given Red Carpet Treatment unabashedly. Can these party hoppers subscribe the principles of BJP, which the party is proud of?
Though the party was yet to announce Panigrahi as its candidate from Bijepur segment, enough indications are there that the former MLA will face BJD’s candidate Rita Sahu in the battlefield. The saffron party has also faced strong resentment for brining Panigrahi into BJP and this has lowered the morale of the workers of the party
Taking the undignified politics between the BJD and the BJP into further low, Union Minister for HRD, Prakash Javadekar during his two-day visit to the state in the weekend, claimed that the poor people in Odisha consume “Modi Rice” at the cost of only Rs 1 a kilogram.
Though Congress during the previous elections in 2014 had campaigned that the Odisha’s cheap rice scheme survived on the donation of the UPA government, no body so far had made the claim as Javadekar did.
During the UPA regime, no Congress leader had claimed that the food grain distributed under the NFSA was “Manmohan Rice” or “Sonia Rice.” Javadekar has not raised any new issue. But, his statement made the news. He branded the Rs 1 a KG rice as “Modi Rice.”
While countering Javadekar’s statement, the BJD also did not hesitate to issue a statement saying that Modi was not paying from his own pocket. The BJD claimed that Modi was nowhere in the picture when Naveen Patnaik launched the cheap rice scheme in 2008. Then Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and therefore he had not an iota of contribution towards the cheap rice scheme in Odisha. The Congress led UPA government ahead of the 2014 general elections, implemented the NFSA  in 2013 and since then the poor people across the country are getting cheap rice or wheat. Modi government is simply carrying forward the NFSA, the Congress said.
Unlike the earlier Union Ministers of the UPA government, the BJP Union Ministers do not hesitate to strongly criticize the  State Governments.
Generally, the visiting Union Ministers used words against the state government in a measured manner. But, Javadekar at a press meet in Puri dubbed the BJD government as a PC (Percentage Commission) government. A Union Minister directly taking on a state government is normally unheard during earlier days.
However, during election campaign, the Union Ministers attack the state government s if they are headed by rival political parties. But, in case of BJP Union Ministers, things appear different even as general elections are years left.
Low level of competition between BJD and the BJP was exposed over the demand of running Rajdhani Express via Sambalpur. Earlier last week, during his Delhi visit Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had met Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and got assurance that the Rajdhani Express would run at least once a week through Sambalpur station.
This was not taken kindly by the state BJP leadership as the BJD started a campaign that Chief Minister was instrumental in bringing Rajdhani Express to Sambalpur. Union Minister Dharmenda  Pradhan’s office recently released a letter of Piyush Goyal  to him on the centre’s nod for Rajdhani Express running via Sambalpur.
Goyal’s letter to Pradhan was also circulated in Media and BJP attempted to nullify the BJD’s propaganda that Naveen was instrumental in bringing Rajdhani Express to Sambalpur.
These are the few examples how the state’s two major parties hit low to gain ground, which is bereft of any principles. Both the parties are at loggers head and have appointed a panel of Spokespersons to counter each other’s allegations.

The ruling BJD, which since panchayat polls used to ignore media, has now started cultivating journalists and ensure that its news also get properly publicized as it is done for the BJP.

The saffron party has also well organized its publicity machines and working overtime to attack the BJD on one and all issues.

Politics in Odisha is hitting low and both BJP and BJD leaders are engaged in politics bereft of any principles, while favoring party hoppers and stooping low to hit each other below the belt, which common people find it nauseating.

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