BJD, BJP part ways in Orissa (Lead)

March 8th, 2009 - 1:02 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, March 7 (IANS) The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), one of the oldest allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), decided to fight the Lok Sabha elections in Orissa on its own after their seat-sharing talks failed here late Saturday.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who heads the BJD, told reporters here that his party will fight the Lok Sabha and assembly elections alone.

“Our talks have failed. We concentrated on the winnability,” Patnaik said after parleys with BJP MP Chandan Mitra.

Mitra declined to speak to the media.

The BJD and BJP jointly fought the Lok Sabha polls in 1998, 1999 and 2004 and the assembly elections of 2000 and 2004.

In both assembly polls, the BJD contested 84 seats and BJP 63. In the general elections, the BJD contested 12 seats and BJP nine.

The trouble started when the BJD said it wanted to contest more seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls as its popularity had increased. But BJP leaders wanted to maintain the old ratio.

The BJD was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) governments headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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