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BJD’s Naveen Patnaik non-committal on supporting NDA

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday remained non-committal on supporting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in government formation at the Centre.

“No talks at all. We have not discussed anything. We have not thought of it yet. Let us wait till the results,” he said.

Patnaik’s comments come after speculation about talks between the Bharatiya Janata Party and BJD for their possible support to the NDA if it forms the government at the Centre. The BJD was a partner of NDA but parted ways just before the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. A senior BJD leader had on Tuesday indicated conditional support to the NDA in government formation at the Centre.

“Keeping in view the opinion of the whole country and the state’s interest, there should be no problem in providing conditional support to the NDA to form government at the Centre,” BJD’s chief whip Pravat Tripathy had said.

Senior BJD leader Jay Panda, however, said the matter needs to be discussed within the party and a call on this will be taken by the party supremo. “On this issue, Pravat Tripathi has suggested that conditional support can be given but this is an issue which needs discussion inside the party and ultimately the party leaders and president Naveen Patnaik will take the final call,” Panda said.

Meanwhile, senior BJD leader Pinaki Mishra expressed confidence that his party will get more than 10 seats in Parliament and will also get a comfortable majority in the Assembly elections to form the government for the fourth term. “We will get 16-17 seats in the Parliament out of 21. The BJP in Odisha will get maximum one or two. The Congress will be wiped out. We will get more than 100-105 out of 147 in the Assembly and comfortably form a government for the fourth time under Naveen Patnaik’s leadership,” he said.

He, however, hoped that whichever government comes to power at the Centre, it will be “less hostile and discriminatory” towards Odisha. “We are hopeful that the new government will be less hostile and discriminatory towards Odisha,” he said. Training his guns at the Congress, Mishra said he Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre had been very “hostile” towards the state. “Congress has been very hostile for the last 10 years because they do not get votes in Odisha so they have decided to discriminate against its people. This is a vicious cycle because now they are reaping a bitter harvest because of this step-motherly treatment and they are being kept out of power for the fourth consecutive term,” he added.

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