Pradhan boosts BJP in Orissa elections

Vol 20, PW 11 (23 Feb 17) News in Brief

Dharmendra Pradhan's ambition of one day becoming Orissa chief minister is getting closer by the day.

Under Pradhan's determined stewardship the ruling BJP has dramatically increased its foothold in this coastal state. On February 20 Pradhan took to Twitter using mother tongue Oriya to thank the people of Orissa for making the BJP the main opposition to the ruling BJD party.

"Pradhan is the future chief minister!" exclaims a source. "He is the blue-eyed boy of Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah." By February 20 the BJP had won exactly 243 of the total 698 seats in the Zila Parishad or district elections, a remarkable achievement when you consider that in 2012 it won only 36.

"Pradhan was closely involved with selecting candidates," we hear. In Orissa Pradhan is also known to order ONGC and IndianOil to carry out charitable work and create jobs in his home state, a practice not uncommon among Indian politicians.

"Little is happening at ONGC's Mahanadi blocks," reports an ONGC source. "But ONGC still maintains an office in Bhubaneswar under strict ministry instructions."

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