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Orissa's longest lasting coalition

india Updated: Mar 09, 2009 17:38 IST

With hung assemblies thrown up after most elections, coalition governments in Orissa were the norm in 1950s and 1960s but the 11-year-long BJD-BJP association which ended on Saturday was the longest of them all.

The BJD was launched in December 1997 when a large chunk of members of Janata Dal(S) broke away following the death of legendary Biju Patnaik.

The party quickly decided to strike an alliance with BJP which was gaining ground in many parts of the state at that time.

"In fact, the regional party was conceptualised with an alliance with the saffron party in view," political analysts point out.

The alliance virtually struck gold by winning a majority of 21 Lok Sabha seats in 1998, 1999 and 2004 elections and forming the government twice after the assembly polls in 2000 and 2004, cornering 106 and 93 of the 147 seats in the two elections.

The first coalition government in the state was formed in May 1959 when Congress (after winning 56 of the 140 seats), which had earlier cobbled a majority in the House with the help of smaller parties and independents, found the going tough.