Seat-Sharing Negotiations With BJD Face Obstacles, BJP Could Stand Alone in the Lok Sabha, Odisha Assembly Elections

As the negotiations on seat sharing between the two parties drag on, the Odisha BJP has said that it may run candidates in all 147 assembly seats and 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state, amid rumors of a potential merger between the ruling BJD and the Bhartiya Janata Party. After arriving back in Bhubaneswar from Delhi on Friday night with other top BJP officials, Manmohan Samal, the state president of the party, said, “There was no talk of an alliance, and we (BJP) will go to polls alone.”

“We go to Delhi in order to talk with the federal leaders about our state’s assembly and Lok Sabha election preparations. Samal said, as cited by news agency PTI, “No discussions on alliance or seat-sharing with any party were held during the meeting.” He predicted that both elections would be won by the Odisha BJP. “The BJP will contest the twin polls on its strength,” said Samal.

BJD leaders VK Pandian and Pranab Prakash Das returned to Bhubaneswar in the meantime after visiting Delhi on Thursday night to talk with BJP central leaders on pre-poll alliance problems. When they came back, they said nothing about what they had discussed. THE alliance negotiations between the BJD and BJP encountered difficulties about seat distribution, according to sources reported by news agency PTI.

The parties couldn’t agree on how to divide seats, even though they had all agreed to create an alliance before to the election. Sources inside the saffron camp said that the BJP disapproved of the BJD’s aspirations to run for more than 100 seats in the 147-member Odisha Assembly.
In talks with the BJP, the regional party—which has 114 members in the current legislature—asked for 112 seats.

A top BJP official said, “The BJD is demanding about 75% of the assembly seats, which is not acceptable to us,” and added that the saffron party’s chances in the state will suffer as a result. However, the BJD rejected the BJP’s request for 14 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha. The BJD secured 12 seats and the BJP eight in the 2019 general elections.

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