BJD has its cake and will eat it too
The expectant leadership of the Congress Party in Odisha is at its wits end. Madam Sonia is dithering on announcing the new PCC president. The rumours are rife that a surprise is in store for them.
The scenario post the A Raja fiasco, with the CBI practically knocking on the doors of Karunanidhi and his family, will see a new equation in the UPA. It is doing the rounds that Madam Sonia has had preliminary talks with Naveen Patnaik for the BJD to join the UPA, if and when the DMK pulls the carpet from under the feet. A Cabinet post for Pyaribabu and three other ministerial berths have been dangled.
The aspirants for the OPCC president are going around in circles. All the scurrying around at Delhi is bearing no results. It seems that Madam Sonia knows that the old soldier KP Singhdeo is a reliable fronts man, who will toe to whatever line the high command gives. Any new president is sure to raise a big stink if any alliance is forged with the BJD.
It explains the smug look that Naveen Patnaik has every time he returns from Delhi. If at all the BJD does support or join the UPA, it will be the death knell for the Congress in Odisha for the next ten years, but electoral compulsions at Delhi override those of state politics. This is true for the BJP in the state too. The desperate attempts made by the high command to keep the coalition alive during the last elections is but a stark example.
The Missing MP
The aloofness and disconnect of the BJP Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Punj with the state that sent him to the hallowed portals is very evident.
The matter of the missing MP is raised in practically every party office-bearer meeting. The MP has not visited Odisha even half a dozen times since being nominated. It seems that he does not even meet the people from the state when they call on him at Delhi. The state president Jual Oram too has expressed his disgust to the party high command, but to no avail.
A recent case where his recommendation letter was attached for the admission in the Kendriya Vidayala was rejected because they did not even know that such an MP from Odisha existed.
Besides, the non-spending of the MP LAD fund too is a matter of concern for the party members. There is a lot of heartburn, as this is one scheme where brownie points can be scored. Even when the MP does make his rare appearance, he is confined to his room in a star hotel, where the hoi polloi are kept away.