On the political front, the parliamentary system of Government is used in the governance of Odisha. The governor is appointed by the President of India and is the head of state. The leader of whichever party has a majority in the Vidhan Sabha becomes the Chief Minister of Odisha. Presently the parties in power in Odisha are the Biju Janata Dal, the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The results of the latest State Assembly Election declared the Biju Janata Dal or BJD, led by Naveen Pattnaik, as the majority party and consequently Sri Naveen Pattnaik was elected as the Chief Minister of Odisha for the third time in a row.
However, the BJD has been hogging the lime lights for all the wrong reasons for quite some time now. From early on in the year, rumors have been ripe about the growing distance between Naveen Patnaik and Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, considered by many to be the second in command in the hierarchy of the ruling party. Apparently, the latter has made the former unhappy by not falling in line with the ideas, in response to which Patnaik has been distancing himself from Mohapatra.
It became apparent exactly how wide the rift between the two was when Patnaik suspended Mohapatra from the party on June 1,2012. Almost immediately after that, Mohapatra tendered his resignation as the BJD party’s Rajya Sabha candidate. Odisha Jana Morcha was formed by Pyari Mohan Mohapatra as a non-political front, four months after his suspension from BJD. Mohapatra said the OJM was formed in order to bring about reforms in the goings-on of the state.
The political scenario in Orissa, which has been volatile for quite some time now, escalated when the Mohapatra led OJM declared that it would take out a rally on the 28th of October,2012. Police permission had already been sought for this rally/public meeting long before the actual event occurred, on 1st October to be precise. The projected number of people attending the rally was given at 50,000. Permission was granted, subject to conditions, to hold the rally on the lower PMG square in Bhubaneswar. The rally, named as Kranti Samabesh, was to be held between 11 am and 3 pm.
The main purpose of this rally was given as a protest against the unconstitutional goings-on in the state carried out by the BJD. The event had been hyped to the maximum. However, the turn up during the rally was a paltry 5000 people. Nonetheless, this number seemed to be enough to rattle the BJD. Mohapatra, speaking during the rally with several other people on the dais, alleged that Naveen Patnaik has failed miserably in delivering the promises he ad made during the 2009 elections and also that the BJD was somehow involved in the recent coal gate scam that rocked the central government not many days back. Bringing out another sore point, Mohapatra declared it a shame that even after all these years, the Chief Minister hasn’t yet mastered the native language of Orissa.
In response to these volley of attacks, the BJD has declared that this rally by the OJM is unconstitutional. Effigies of Pyari Mohan Mohapatra have been burned by BJD supporters across the state, especially in Sambalpur. Though the outcome of this long on-going rift between two factions is still not evident, the common people are often found suffering the brunt of such political tiffs.