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Cong has become BJD's 'B-team' in Odisha: BJP

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The BJP today accused the of acting like a "B-team" of the ruling (BJD) in Odisha, claiming that its two rival parties have a "tacit understanding" to stop its growth in the state, a key region for its plans for the next polls.

Arun Singh, who is the eastern state's in-charge for the party, also dismissed suggestions that the under its new may post new challenges to the saffron party, which is seen to have emerged as a principal rival to the BJD.

"The entire focus of the in is on halting the BJP's growth and for this it has entered into a tacit understanding with BJD supremo and

"In its target to prevent us from making big gains in the next elections, it has become BJD's B-team. But it will not succeed," Singh told

Asked to elaborate, he cited the example of the recent assembly bypoll in Bijepur where the BJD quelled a spirited challenge from the BJP with its candidate bagging over 1.02 lakh votes against the latter's over 60,000 votes.

Singh pointed out that the Congress could get just around 10,274 votes even though it had won from the constituency for the last three consecutive terms.

Its candidate ended up losing deposit. The BJD's win was largely due to transfer of traditional Congress votes to it as both parties wanted to prevent a BJP win at all costs, he claimed.

Citing the results of last year's local body polls, the said the Congress is no longer in reckoning in the state's and the next year's and the assembly polls will see a direct contest between his party and the BJD.

In Odisha, both elections are held simultaneously and Patnaik has been its since 2000, leading his party to victory in four assembly polls on a trot.

The state, which sends 21 members to the Lok Sabha, has emerged key to the BJP's plans for the next parliamentary polls as its has asserted that it is one of the states where his party can make big gains.

Despite fetching its maximum vote share of more than 21 per cent in the 2014 polls, the BJP had won only one seat, while the BJD swept the rest with over 44 per cent vote share. The Congress had won 26 per cent votes but no seat.

The BJP believes that the Congress has steadily lost its support since 2014 and has cited results of various by-elections and local polls afterwards to make its point.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 14:45 IST