News18 Rising Bharat Summit 2024 | Alliances Not Always Based on Necessities; Tie-up with BJD Undecided: Amit Shah – News18


Amit Shah speaks at the Network18 Rising Bharat Summit 2024. (Photo: News18)

The union home minister’s remarks came a day after Biju Janata Dal leader VK Pandian said at the summit that Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik does not need the support of the BJP to form the government in the state and Narendra Modi may not need the support of the BJD to form the government at the Centre

Alliances are not always formed on the basis of necessities, said union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday at the Network18 Rising Bharat Summit 2024, a day after Biju Janata Dal leader and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s trusted aide VK Pandian said that the CM does not need the support of the BJP to form the government in the state, Narendra Modi may not need the support of the BJD to form the government at the Centre, and tie-up talks are premised on statesmanship for a higher purpose.

“There are many parties which supported us in Parliament on issues of national interest like abrogation of Article 370, GST, bonds which even the Congress had not supported. However, many parties gave us issue-based support and I believe that this is the beauty of democracy,” Shah said.

Odisha goes for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in four phases from May 13 till June 1, with the votes to be counted on June 4. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik is aiming for his record sixth straight term. The BJD has dominated the electoral maths in Odisha for close to a quarter of a century.

Pandian, chairman of the 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha programmes, spoke at the summit on Tuesday. “So, Mr Naveen Patnaik does not need an alliance to come back to serve the people. He does not need an alliance. I would say the same thing about Mr Narendra Modi, the honourable Prime Minister of India, whatever surveys you are showing, whatever others are showing that he is going to become the Prime Minister of the country again. Mr Naveen Patnaik is going to be the chief minister of the state undoubtedly and Mr Narendra Modi is going to be the Prime Minister,” he said. “How I put it is that there are some things which are beyond politics. It is a mark of great statesmanship that two great leaders want to come together for a greater cause. It has significance as two great people coming together as a mark of statesmanship. It has nothing to do with politics.”

Home minister Amit Shah indicated that a decision on the much-speculated BJD-BJP alliance is yet to be taken. “It has not been decided yet. Our party president will take a call on it. However, it is certain that we will see massive gains in our strength in Odisha. Our workers feel and accept the love of the people of Odisha for the Prime Minister,” he said at the summit.

Asked whether the number of seats would increase, Shah said, “Definitely, in the Vidhan Sabha as well as in the Lok Sabha, there will be a big increase in the number of seats. It will be more than the assessment by election analysts.”

The home minister was speaking after a meeting late on Tuesday night with the core team of Odisha BJP to decide on the party’s strategy in the state. The BJP and the BJD were in alliance in the state from 1999 to 2009 and fought elections on a 4:3 seat-sharing formula. State BJP president Manmohan Samal had earlier said that the BJP would fight elections independently on the issues of Odisha’s “asmita” (pride) and “swabhiman” (self-respect).

In the past five years, the BJP has emerged as the main opposition party in Odisha, displacing the Congress to the third position. However, a look at the 2019 assembly polls shows that with just 23 seats, the BJP was far behind the BJD, which had won 112. The Congress got just nine seats in the 147-member assembly.

So is the BJP in a position to form the government in Odisha? “Anything can happen,” said Shah. “Let it be decided first whether we are going to fight these elections in an alliance (with the BJD) or independently. If we fight the elections in an alliance, it is natural that Biju (Naveen) Babu is the leader and we will contest these elections as an ally. If we fight alone, then we will fight to form the government.”


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