The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha, which has gone on an offensive against the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) following the attack on Union Ministers in Bargarh, has upped the ante on the issue of killing of 5 tribal/dalit villagers in Kandhamal. The BJP has accused CM Naveen Patnaik and his government of being “blood-thirsty” and killing the innocent tribals to stay in power.
Many appreciate BJP’s new-found aggression and anger against the government while showing pain for the tribals. But, some others see politics and ask why the BJP remained silent in Kalinga Nagar in 2006 when 13 tribals were killed in police firing. The BJP was sharing power with the BJD then. Forget about bandh calls or dharna or a protest, BJP leaders neither raised any question nor visited the area.
Yes, BJP has the right to protest any wrong committed by the state government without any exception. They must project themselves as a strong opposition. But, past will continue to haunt the party. They were part of the government from 2000 till 2009 and it was definitely not the period of ‘Ram Rajya’. What they did during that period and what stand they took on various controversial issues, will be subject to debate and discussion always.