The fledgling alliance between the BJD and JMM could not even last for a month. And it is likely to have its impact on the continuity of the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government. The JMM has four MLAs in the Orissa Assembly and they extended support to the government after the BJD snapped ties with BJP. A total of 76 MLAs met the Governor on March 8 and declared their support for the BJD Government including the 4 JMM legislators. The BJD Government needs the support of 74 MLAs to muster a majority in the House. Without the 4 JMM legislators, its tally would get reduced to 72, falling short of two MLAs required for a majority in the Assembly.
Speaking on the progress of seat-sharing talks between the BJD and its new pals who supported the BJD Government after the BJP withdrew support on March 7, BJD president Naveen Patnaik said, “Seat adjustment with the JMM will not take place now. We had asked them to get a public statement from Sibu Soren not to include the three districts of Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Keonjhar in their goal to achieve a Greater Jharkhand. No such public statement was issued by Soren and hence, no seat-adjustment will take place now. We will not cede an inch of land to any other state”.
Sudam Marandi, JMM MP from Mayurbhanj has already left for Delhi to confer with the party’s central leaders on the next course of action after the seat-sharing talks have failed. Marandi said, “They contacted us frantically to get our support after snapping ties with the BJP. But no further progress could be made on seat-adjustment”.
BJD secretary general Damodar Rout told HT, “If we are asked, we can again prove our majority in the floor of the Assembly”. The CM said, “I want to extend my gratitude to parties who supported us on March 8 and 11 to prove our majority”.
The CM released a list of 59 MLA candidates and 8 MP candidates on Thursday for the first phase of polls. Seventy Assembly and ten Lok Sabha constituencies will go to the polls in the first phase on April 16. The BJD is still having talks with Left parties and NCP for seat-adjustments in 15-20 constituencies. “We are still having discussions”, the CM said.