New Delhi, Aug 14: The win for the NDA in the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman elections was a major victory for the combine and a blow for the opposition. The jubilant scenes in the BJP camp following Harivansh's victory were quite expected.
Prior to this, the NDA also managed to sail through a no confidence vote with ease. In both cases, there was support direct and indirect from the BJD and TRS. The BJP's senior leaders pointed out that both these parties had abstained during the no-confidence vote and in the deputy chairman polls, backed it.
The question now is what will be the strategy of the BJP in both Telangana and Odisha, where the TRS and BJD are the top players. Sources tell OneIndia that the BJP would surely look to make major inroads, but the approach may be a softer one.
The BJP would not look to go all out in a bid to try and demolish either the TRS or BJD. This change in strategy comes in the wake of two reasons. First and foremost the support that the BJP got in both Houses of Parliament and secondly both these parties are not allying with any of the opposition parties.
Backing the BJP:
Naveen Patnaik has stayed away from the joint opposition. K Chandrashekara Rao too has indicated that he would not be part of any coalition that the Congress is part of. The BJP would prefer that the two parties remain neutral, if they do not join the NDA. In case of any numbers required in the post election scenario, the BJP could rely on both these parties, sources also said.
If both the TRS and BJD have backed the BJP in Parliament then it was based on calculations for the future, a BJP leader said. In the case of Patnaik, he has an uninterrupted run since 2000 and has been an ally of the BJP in the past. He however severed ties with the BJP in 2009 following the Kandhamal riots.
However, there is also a view that the new-found bonhomie between the two parties could lead the BJP to tamp down its campaign against him ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state, making things easier for the BJD.
Both elections are held simultaneously in the state. The BJD had won 20 of 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014 and the BJP one.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had called up Patnaik to seek his party's support for Harivansh, a JD(U) member and NDA nominee for the Deputy Chairman post.
This was followed by a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Patnaik which sealed the deal.
Handy in 2019:
BJP leaders believe that cordial ties with non-NDA parties may come handy for the party after 2019 elections in case its tally fall below the majority mark. In Telangana, political watchers believe, Rao has a firm grip in absence of a strong opposition after he won 11 of its 17 Lok Sabha seats and swept the assembly polls in 2014.
Like Odisha, Lok Sabha and assembly polls are held simultaneously in Telangana as well. Rao had met Modi following which TRS sources said their party was open to a post-poll tie-up with the BJP in 2019.
Both regional satraps may have reckoned, sources said, that a friendly relationship with the BJP- which had been working aggressively to expand its footprints in their states- may help them to return to power.