Jual Oram: Spotlight on Odisha tribal leader who could be BJP's CM face

Oram will take on former hockey team captain Dilip Tirkey in Sundargarh seat

Jual-Oram Jual Oram during campaign | X

Odisha is all set to vote in the second phase of elections on Monday, which will see polling being held at five Lok Sabha seats and 35 assembly constituencies. The state that witnessed sober campaigning in the initial days, saw the poll temperature peaking after the first phase of elections.

The contest in the state is between BJP and the ruling BJD. The saffron party has carried out high-decibel campaigning, hoping to wrest the state from the BJD. And, helming the saffron party's campaign is tribal leader Jual Oram, who is also a former Union Tribal Affairs Minister. 

Speculations are rife that Oram is among the frontrunners for the post of chief minister should the BJP wrest Odisha from the BJD in the ongoing assembly elections. A candidate from Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency, Oram will face legendary Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey in the elections.

Reacting to rumours of him being the party's CM face, Oram said he does not aspire to be the chief minister, but he wouldn't turn down the job if offered. "If I am entrusted with the job, I will faithfully discharge my duties as the chief minister. Though I do not aspire to be the CM, I won’t turn down the job if offered. There are plenty of other capable leaders in our party who could be considered for the CM’s post. However, we will abide by whatever our party leadership decides," Oram added. 

Oram also took a dig at V K Pandian, a bureaucrat-turned-politician who is said to be the heir of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. "There is no democracy in Odisha. The state is being ruled by bureaucrats. The CM has been rendered ineffective due to his advancing age and failing health. He has failed to project a leader whom he could pass the baton to. V K Pandian roams the state and acts as per his whims, without bothering to pay heed to ministers. In a way, the state is under an autocratic rule, a dictatorship. Their expiry date has been fixed for June 4," Oram told ANI.

The leader expressed confidence that the party can come to power in both the Centre and State. "Sensing the pulse of the people here, I can say with absolute confidence and conviction that the mandate will be in favour of 'Dilli mein 400 paar, Odisha mein BJP Sarkar'. The dream of a double-engine government here will be fulfilled," said Oram. 

He added that the ongoing Lok Sabha elections will be his last election as he wants to pass the baton to the next generation of leaders.  "I have contested Lok Sabha elections eight times and Assembly elections twice. I will remain active in politics but do not want to be part of electoral politics anymore. It takes a lot of hard work to contest elections. Since I am a senior leader, I have been given a lot of responsibilities. So, I get overburdened," said Oram.


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