While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) painted the nation saffron in the 2014 general election, gaining 282 out of 543 seats. A few states stood out for being resistant to the charm of its leader and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Odisha was one of them, with the BJP winning only one of the 21 seats.
While the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which had dominated the state since 2000, won the rest. The BJP was no newcomer in Odisha, as it had been in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, two other states that defied Modi. Between 2000 to 2009, the BJP was a member of the state’s ruling alliance.
BJP gives a statement to BJD:
It was a reference to the BJD’s, or more precisely, its leader Naveen Patnaik’s, hold over the state. It made little difference that the BJD, like the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. And the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu, was not a member of a national coalition.
Voters in these states supported regional parties as if it were an assembly election, with the exception of Odisha. It has also held state elections concurrently, benefiting the BJD in the national election.
The BJD also swept the legislative election, winning 117 out of 147 seats (the BJP won 10 and the Congress 16), giving Patnaik his fourth consecutive term as chief minister.
Only two of his current opponents have won four or more successive elections. Sikkim’s Pawan Chamling and Tripura’s Manik Sarkar. Patnaik’s father, Biju Patnaik, served as Odisha’s chief minister twice.
BJP refused to grant the BJD more seats:
The BJD and the BJP originally joined forces in 1998 and fought every parliamentary and state election together until 2009.
But when the BJD opted to split because the BJP refused to grant the BJD more seats than under the previous seat-sharing arrangement. Some point to the Kandhamal riots of 2008, in which the assassination of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader sparked violence between Hindus and Christians. As another cause for the BJD’s break with the BJP; 38 people were killed in the ensuing skirmishes.