By Subrat Das*
Bhubaneswar: Where have the smaller state-level parties, which had contested 2014 general elections, gone? This question is being asked by the people as these parties are not in the fray this time.
Samruddha Odisha, a state-level party was formed by Jatish Chandra Mohanty, an Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer who had resigned from the service to join politics. His party, which was born ahead of 2009 general elections, had fought 2009 and 2014 elections. But it met with little electoral success. The party is nowhere in the election scenario this time.
Similarly, Odisha Janmorcha was founded by the bureaucrat-turned-politician Pyari Mohan Mohapatra on April 10, 2013 after he was expelled from Biju Janata Dal following the unsuccessful coup attempt against Naveen Patnaik in May, 2012. His party was allotted kite symbol by the Election Commission of India and it fought the 2014 elections. However, the party died untimely death with the demise of its founder on March 19, 2017 at a Mumbai hospital. Other leaders of the party joined various other parties.
Likewise Utkal Bharat, another state-level party formed by former BJP MP MA Kharavela Swain on February 2, 2010, is not in the fray this time. Swain himself is contesting as BJP candidate from Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency this time. However, he claims that he still remains as the President of Utkal Bharat. “It’s not possible to dissolve Utkal Bharat. I still continue as its President even though I am contesting the election on BJP symbol. Last time, I had contested the election on Ama Odisha symbol even though Utkal Bharat was very much existent”, he said.
Aama Odisha, the party founded by senior politician and editor of “Sambad” Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, has merged with the Biju Janata Dal after Patnaik joined the ruling party on March 7 last year. The regional party was formed on November 26, 2013 and had fought 2014 general election.
Patnaik, currently a Rajya Sabha member, is at present contesting the current election as the BJD candidate from the Khandapara assembly constituency.
The writer is a journalist currently working with Sambad Group as Consultant Editor of Group Digital Edition.