Sunday 10 March 2019

33% women BJD candidates for 17th Lok Sabha – great move by Naveen Patnaik

Image courtesy: CNN-News 18

Should you have been following me, you would be well aware that I am an established long standing political adversary of the longest standing chief minister of Odisha. However, I too am compelled to applaud Naveen Patnaik’s announcement that BJD shall have a quota of 33% for women as its candidates in the election for the 17
th Lok Sabha. Odisha has 21 Lok Sabha constituencies and this announcement means now BJD shall field a minimum of 7 women candidates in the 2019 general elections. I am a strong advocate of the fact that for a balanced democratic system we ought to have at least half of our representatives from the superior gender.
While I loudly applaud this decision of the BJD supremo, I am also privy to a few other facts and it shall be unfair on my part to not let all of you know about the same.
In a previously written piece ‘ Naveen Patnaik Swings both ways ! ’ I had appraised about the covert closeness of Naveen Patnaik with a few top leaders of both BJP as well as Congress. My friend Baijayant 'Jay' Panda the ex-marksman of Naveen Patnaik who recently has joined the BJP and has been appointed as VP cum Spokesperson-BJP too has corroborated the same.
The covert understanding between BJP and Naveen Patnaik is that he shall allow an easy win for 7-8 BJP candidates into the 17th Lok Sabha from Odisha. As on date BJP or the NDA has only one MP from Odisha in my friend Jual Oram. For the BJP top brass an increase of tally to 7-8 MPs from one is extremely alluring.
However, my friends in the BJP are completely unaware that Naveen Patnaik has struck the same deal with his friends in the top brass of the Indian National Congress. For the congress, an opportunity to increase its tally in Odisha to 7-8 MPs from zero is even more alluring.
In return all what Naveen Patnaik wants from the two national parties of relevance in Odisha, is to leave him and his… undisturbed.
While people like me who genuinely want more power for women, stand loudly applauding the decision of 33% women as BJD Lok Sabha candidates. The real politicking is somewhere else.
Both the BJP as well as Congress top brass are now convinced that BJD in these 7 women candidates is adhering to the promise made by Naveen Patnaik of placing weak BJD candidates for their respective candidates to win easily. However, both the sides have no clue that this is nothing but a master stroke of Naveen Patnaik and his… By the time each side gets to realise, it would be the afternoon of  23 May '2019 election result day.
Should someone be smart, one should dare Naveen Patnaik to announce 33% women BJD candidates for the forthcoming Odisha Legislative Assembly, which too shall be going to polls simultaneously with the General elections for the 17th Lok Sabha of India. That is if someone is smart….

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