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Pti

Bhubaneswar: BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sought explanation from party MP Bhartruhari Mahatab for his recent statement on the party's possible ties with opposition Congress.

Mahatab, the leader of BJD Parliamentary party in the Lok Sabha, has also been accused of issuing "harmful" statements to media without prior permission of the party president, a release by BJD secretary Ananta Narayan Jena claimed.

"Party president Naveen Patnaik has today sought explanation from the Cuttack MP over his anti-party statements," he said.

Mahatab said, "He (Patnaik) is my leader. He has every right to seek explanation from me. I will give reply after receiving the letter."

On November 2, Mahatab, in a statement to a local news channel, had said, "As Congress has been weakened now, the party (BJD) should reconsider its policy of maintaining distance from that party."

Also read: Naveen says no question of any alliance between BJD and Cong

He had also said since Congress is "not strong enough",there is "no danger" in tying up with it to fight BJP.

"The Uttar Pradesh polls will determine BJD's strategy. As Congress has looked after the general welfare of the people of Odisha, BJD can be a part of the grand alliance against BJP," Mahatab had said.

Reacting immediately to Mahatab's statement, Patnaik had said, "There is no question of any kind of alliance with Congress as it has always neglected the people of Odisha."

The developments took a new turn when a section of the local media quoting Mahatab, said the Cuttack MP spoke about the possible alliance with Congress as per the direction of the Chief Minister.

Mahtab, however, immediately claimed that he had never made such statements.

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