Odisha News Hawk: It’s not just ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, which is criticising the Election Commission’s move to hold elections in Odisha in four phases, which never happened in the past even when the Maoist menace was at its peak in the state. Even, the journalists, political pundits and intelligentsia are surprised and wonder what compelled the EC to take such a decision.
Some minced no words to put the blame on the BJP-led Modi Government at the Centre, which is now accused of influencing the poll schedule and tweaking it as per its own convenience. BJP has a lot of stake in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. And, the first three States are going to polls in seven phases, while Odisha will have a four-phase poll schedule. On the contrary, States like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will have a single-phase polling.
BJP has emerged as the principal opposition to counter the ruling BJD, which has been in power for the last 19 years in Odisha, – the State going to simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Did EC want to give more time to BJP so that it can execute its poll strategy in a meticulous manner? This is what many people believe.
The EC’s argument that Odisha remains a LWE-affected state stands very weak, as in the recent years, the naxal activities as well as Maoist related violent incidents have gone down significantly. In the recent months, there have been no big attacks or violence. Instead, Maoists have been surrendering or getting arrested in large numbers. While the EC’s decision would be respected by all, it cannot escape scrutiny. Questions will be asked whenever and wherever due.
Here are some tweets that raise eyebrows on EC’s decision to hold elections in Odisha in 4 phases.
Do the geographic and demographic spread of #Odisha prompt a multi-phase election process? Can someone explain why four-phase #Odishaelections2019 only for 21 seats? Is it advantage @BJP4Odisha over @BJD_Odisha
— sahas (@sahas) March 11, 2019
— Amar Jyoti (@ajmahapatra) March 10, 2019
#Elections: A four-phase polling is a first for #Odisha. Have a strong feeling that this has been thought through politically. It doesn't appear to be a decision based on the availability of logistics or administrative factors. https://t.co/uemAMe5AWg
— Rajesh Mahapatra (@rajeshmahapatra) March 10, 2019
— Santimoy Biswas 🇮🇳 (@muna_biswas) March 10, 2019
Andhra Pradesh with 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies has a single-phase election on April 11. But #Odisha has 4-phase elections. In Telangana also, all 17 Lok Sabha seats will have single-phase elections on April 11. Different yardsticks difficult to comprehend pic.twitter.com/FsNhlnRyrj
— Soumyajit Pattnaik (@soumyajitt) March 11, 2019
LS elections in 4 phases in Odisha: Is it beneficial for any party? If yes then how?
Political pundits on my TL, please help me understand…
— TwitOdia (ଟ୍ୱିଟୋଡ଼ିଆ) (@manas007_2000) March 11, 2019
Phasing of this election is fantastic! It will be one to one marking like a game! Every constituency will see battles royal! Ability to move dedicated workers across constituencies will be key. Odisha with 4 phases is unprecedented. Add to it state elections
— Meenakshi Panda (@meenakshi_panda) March 10, 2019
Phasing of elections in various states is inexplicable. EC has taken a dictation from NaMo in scheduling the elections. This will enable him to carpet bomb states like WB and Odisha.
— nitbavy (@sanbaves) March 11, 2019
7-phase poll schedule in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar & West Bengal; 4-phase poll schedule in #Odisha .
And, Andhra Pradesh will have single-phase polling.
— Sagar Speaks ✍ (@SagarSpeaksNews) March 10, 2019