Mrunal Manmay Dash

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s talk with Union Minister Rajnath Singh seems to have gathered steam in political corridors with former Odisha Congress Chief, Jayadev Jena terming Patnaik and PM Modi as two sides of a coin.

As per reports, Rajnath Singh had called upon Patnaik and reportedly discussed the ensuing Presidential election with him over phone on Thursday. However, the opposition Congress seemed to have smelled rat in it which alleged that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is anyway going to side with the BJP in Centre as both Patnaik and Modi are two sides of the same coin.

Speaking to reporters, former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Chief, Jayadev Jena told, “The BJD has always been supportive of the bills that BJP brings in the Parliament. The BJD had even extended its support to BJP during the last Presidential and Vice President elections.”

“So it will be no news for us, if the BJD supports BJP’s President candidate this time too,” Jena said.

BJP State General Secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan said, “It depends on the BJD who it wants to support. But this is a democratic process and we all should respect that.”

To this question, BJD leader Sashibhusan Behera said, “Be it the BJP or the other opposition parties who have come together for the Presidential election, they would naturally want to contact BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik to seek his support.”

“It does not matter who calls him, but the ultimate decision lies with Naveen Patnaik,” Behera added.

A meeting of opposition leaders, called by Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was held in Delhi on building consensus on zeroing in on a joint opposition candidate.

In the meeting, a resolution was passed to field a common candidate in the next Presidential poll.

The presidential poll will be held on July 18 and the counting of votes will take place on July 21.