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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Naveen Patnaik rules out joining ‘third front’ after meeting PM

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made it clear on Thursday that he is not going to join the third front or a common political platform of non-BJP parties.

Patnaik also said that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will go solo in the next Assembly elections and the Lok Sabha polls, both scheduled next year.

The Chief Minister told this to mediapersons after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Thursday afternoon.

Patnaik-led BJD has been maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress. So, when reporters asked him if there is any possibility of BJD joining the third front, the CM replied, “No… Not as far as I am concerned… Not now.”

On his meeting with PM Modi, Patnaik said they discussed issues related to Odisha’s demands, not any political matter.

“Our discussion was mainly related to the demands of Odisha. I spoke to the Prime Minister about the proposed Jagannath International Airport in Puri for which the boundary has already been earmarked,” he said.

“We want an expansion as the Bhubaneswar airport is witnessing too much traffic. The Prime Minister said that he will definitely help in every possible way,” the Chief Minister said.

Patnaik also ruled out any meeting with other political leaders during his trip to Delhi.

Patnaik ruling out joining the third front assumes significance after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met him on Wednesday. He had also held talks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in March.

Following the break-up of the BJD-BJP coalition government in 2009, the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD has been maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress. Also, the BJD has not shown much interest to get involved in national politics. The regional party maintains that its focus is on the interests of Odisha and its people.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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