Baijayant Panda reveals BJP’s Kendrapara plans: Insights from veteran politician

seventh phase of 2024 General Election approaches, Kendrapara in Odisha is gearing up for the polls on June 1. Rohan Dua, Executive Editor of The New Indian, interviewed Baijayant Panda, providing valuable insights into the local and national political dynamics.

| Updated: 28 May, 2024 1:54 pm IST

KENDRAPARA: As the seventh phase of 2024 General Election approaches, the politically significant constituency of Kendrapara in Odisha is gearing up for the polls on June 1. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Baijayant Panda, a veteran politician with deep roots in Odisha’s political landscape, is at the forefront of the BJP’s campaign. Rohan Dua, Executive Editor of The New Indian, interviewed Panda, providing valuable insights into the local and national political dynamics.



Baijayant Panda’s political career began with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), a party he was instrumental in founding with substantial support from the BJP. Reflecting on the early days, Panda highlighted the role of BJP leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani in shaping the BJD. “It was the late Pramod Mahajan who really orchestrated the founding of the BJD, and from day one, BJD was an alliance partner with the BJP,” Panda explained. His long association with the BJP, even during his tenure with the BJD, laid a foundation for his eventual switch to the BJP in 2019.

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Panda’s decision to join the BJP stemmed from his observations of the BJD’s changing dynamics over the years. He noted that the BJD had significantly deviated from its original path after severing ties with the BJP. His switch was also driven by the substantial support he garnered as a BJP candidate in Kendrapara, where he saw a remarkable increase in votes from one lakh to nearly five lakhs. This increase was evidence of the BJP’s growing appeal and Panda’s dedicated efforts in the constituency.

Addressing the impact of central schemes in his constituency, Panda emphasized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on comprehensive development and poverty alleviation. Schemes like Ujjwala, Ujala, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, and Garib Kalyan Yojna have significantly benefited Kendrapara. “Modi ji’s plans aim to reach every Indian, which is why we have the motto ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas,'” Panda remarked. He highlighted the transformative potential of the Dhamra-Paradeep Industrial Corridor, promising substantial investment and job creation in the region.

Panda acknowledged the voters’ confusion between state and national elections, particularly given the BJP’s lack of a clear Chief Minister candidate in Odisha. He pointed out the growing dissatisfaction with the current state government led by Naveen Patnaik, who has delegated significant control to a non-Odia bureaucrat, V.K. Pandian. This has led to widespread resentment among the populace, who feel exploited and underserved, particularly in areas like electricity pricing and cultural management. “People are upset because they feel exploited,” Panda noted, criticizing the mismanagement of local resources and traditions.

The interview also touched upon the broader impact of Modi’s leadership on regional development. Modi’s emphasis on developing the East and North-East regions, including Odisha, has resulted in increased central funding and attention to local issues. This approach has resonated with the people, who see tangible improvements in infrastructure and services. Panda pointed out the significant increase in funding for Odisha and the efforts to ensure clean drinking water through the Jal Jeevan Mission as examples of the central government’s commitment to the state.

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Kendrapara’s unique geographical challenges, including frequent crocodile attacks due to disturbed biodiversity, were also discussed. Panda outlined his efforts to improve local infrastructure, such as building bridges and drinking water projects, to mitigate these issues. He criticized the state government’s inaction and emphasized the need for comprehensive development that balances environmental conservation with human safety and progress.

The interview concluded with a discussion on the BJP’s strategy for the upcoming elections. With high-profile visits from BJP leaders and a focus on addressing local grievances, Panda expressed confidence in the party’s prospects. He highlighted the importance of a level playing field and the Election Commission’s role in ensuring free and fair elections. “Our attempt is to ensure a level playing field,” Panda asserted, optimistic about the BJP’s chances in Kendrapara and the broader state.

Panda’s vision for Kendrapara and Odisha is rooted in sustainable development, local empowerment, and effective governance. Whether through improved infrastructure, job creation, or enhanced social services, his commitment to the region’s progress is evident. As Kendrapara prepares for the polls, Panda’s insights and efforts will be crucial in shaping the constituency’s future road map.

Rohan Dua’s interview with Baijayant Panda provided a comprehensive look into the political landscape of Kendrapara and the broader implications for Odisha. With the polls on the horizon, the BJP’s strategies and Panda’s leadership will play a pivotal role in determining the electoral outcome.

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