Four-phase Election Schedule in Odisha doesn’t make Sense


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.

Odisha Elections 2019 – Complete Schedule

Here are some tweets that raise eyebrows on EC’s decision to hold elections in Odisha in 4 phases.