Pradeep Pattanayak

The political climate in Odisha has begun to heat up following the meeting of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The Congress said there is no question of the BJD joining with the third front because they are wary of their mistakes. Once they join the third front, they would come under the scanner of the CBI and the ED. 

“The BJP took a swipe at the meeting between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Following this, Naveen Babu immediately went to Delhi because he wanted to clarify that he is not going to be a part of the third front,” said senior Congress leader, Tara Prasad Bahinipati. 

“They (the BJD) are neck-deep in corruption. If they join the third front, the CBI and the ED would leave none. They have the CBI and the ED fear.  Because of this, there is no question of the BJD joining the third front. In Odisha, they (the BJP and the BJD) are archrivals. But in Delhi, they (the BJD) are close allies,” he added. 

On the other hand, the BJP said the meeting between the CM and the PM would hardly cause any trouble to the party. 

“His (the CM) meeting with the Prime Minister will hardly cause any trouble to our party. The BJP is always keeping a watchful eye on the BJD for the mistakes it is committing. If they commit a mistake, we will voice it and take it to the people,” said Odisha BJP General Secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan. 

“It would have been better if he (Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik) had clarified his stand on joining the third front before the people of the State,” he added. 

The BJD said if it is extending support to the Central government, it is for the sake of Odisha’s development. 

“Ours is a regional party. Our motto is to keep an equal distance. But when it comes to the development of Odisha, we will extend our support.  He (Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik) has also reiterated this in Delhi. During Manmohan Singh's time, we also maintained equal distance. But the Chief Minister was meeting him to discuss the State’s problems. Does it mean we were with the Congress?” said BJD MLA, Debi Prasad Mishra. 

“Instead of giving sermons to others, the Congress should take care of its own matters,” said the BJD leader.