Orissa: BJP-BJD alliance splits over seat sharing

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Naveen Patnaik - Orissa Chief Minister
Bhubaneswar, Mar 8: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday, Mar 7 pulled out from the present Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government after the parties failed to reach an agreement on the number of seats each party wanted to contest for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa on Saturday, Mar 7 evening announced that the parties would contest polls separately. CM said that the formula proposed by BJP was not acceptable to BJD. Soon after the CM's announcement BJP legislature party leader Bishwabhushan Harichandan said his party with 30 MLAs has withdrawn support to the state government and would meet the Governor to convey their decision.

Experts are of the opinion that the break-off can hurt BJP. The state has 147 Assembly seats and BJD wanted to contest more than 100 seats of them and leave around 40 for the BJP. Of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the BJD wanted to contest 12 seats and leave nine for the BJP. But BJP wanted more Lok Sabha seats seats but it failed in the bargaining with the ruling BJD.

Meanwhile the 'third front' an 8 party alliance formed last week invited BJD to joint the alliance. But BJD sources said that the party has kept open all the option.

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