Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the senior BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab’s statement of a possible BJD-Congress alliance to fight BJP that created a buzz in Odisha political sphere, top BJP leader and Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan today termed the regional outfit’s move as ‘selfish and unethical’.
“We would welcome the selfish and immoral alliance if BJD goes for. This alliance is the work of most unethical people. Everybody knows no BJD leader can utter a single word without an instruction from the Third Floor and Mahtab is not an ordinary parliamentarian. He has given a fresh indication in Odisha politics”, Pradhan said while addressing a party meeting here.
“Many things have happened in the last 48 hours. First, Mahatab was asked to raise the matter and 24 hours after the remark, his leader and CM Naveen Patnaik denied the claim. Then, a leader from Congress-Srikant Jena- who is very nominal in his party now, said that Congress-BJD alliance is impossible”, Pradhan pointed out.
“Such an immoral alliance was once made to kill ‘Abhimanyu’ during Kurukhetra. But, still ‘Pandavas’ had won the battle even having minimum number of fighters. So, here also, the Pandavas (referring to BJP) would win against the unprincipled pact even having the minimum numbers”, Pradhan asserted.
Countering the union minister, Mahtab said Dharmendra Pradhan's speech before his party men is all imaginary. "His allegation is nothing but figment of his imagination. Perhaps being representing Bihar in Rajya Sabha, he has lost touch to the ground realities of Odisha. To build up his party, he should not indulge in innuendoes and cast aspersions on me or honourable CM Naveen Patnaik. He should concentrate more on the huge responsibility that has been given to him by honourable PM", Mahtab said.
Meanwhile, BJD came forward to counter the union minister. “Pradhan’s speech is only for his self-satisfaction. Why does he give such remark even after the BJD president and CM confirmed that our party would not make any understanding with Congress? Even Mahatab himself has admitted that the statement he had made was purely personal”, BJD spokesman Sameer Das said. It is commonly known that Congress is our time-honoured political enemy, Das maintained.
BJD MLA Debasis Samantray indirectly criticised his party MP. "He (Mahtab) is the BJD's parliamentary party chief in Lok Sabha. So, such statement may put the party in trouble", he said.
BJD’s parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Bhartuhari Mahtab had said that his party was not averse to joining forces with the Congress to fight the BJP. The regional party would think about entering into alliance with Congress, if required, he had told media.
“I do not see any logic behind maintaining the equal distance policy in case of Congress as the national party is not the same as it was earlier. The BJD would make an amendment to its policy, if required,” Mahtab had told a TV channel on Wednesday.
A day after, his party chief Naveen Patnaik had asserted that his outfit would not enter into any alliance with Congress.
“There is no question of any kind of alliance with Congress,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Simulia in Balasore district. Alleging that the Congress had always neglected the people of Odisha, Patnaik said his party would like to go alone with its own strength.