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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Senior BJD leader and Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab today said the statement he had given recently that the BJD would consider to make an alliance with Congress has been grossly misinterpreted in the media.

“Let me make my stand very clear. The news regarding my statement on this issue which has been published in a newspaper is utterly ‘false’ and ‘exaggerated’. Being a journalist, I know how people will accept me when I am using these two words. But the responsibility of a journalist is to unravel the truth and do news which is based on facts. I have also given a clarification to the media about the statement I had given earlier on this issue,” Bhartruhari OTV.

The BJD Parliamentary Party leader further said considering the national political scenario, he had said that if there is plan to form Front against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the BJD supremo and chief minister will take a final call on whether BJD will join the Front. “Besides, I had also said that the BJD might reconsider joining the Front if the Congress expresses similar willingness. But I had said that the final decision in this regard will be taken by the chief minister who has clarified that the BJD has no such plans to join the Front,” he pointed out.

Asked whether the statement he had given earlier was his personal statement, Mahatab said “In my opinion, it was my personal opinion. But the final decision was with the party supremo and chief minister”.

“My intention was that with the changing national political scenario, the BJD should formulate its strategies accordingly. Giving such statement is not at all wrong. But misinterpretation my opinion in this manner is not the profession and ethics of a journalist,” he noted.

Mahatab said his party is ahead and will remain ahead in the triangular fight with the Congress and BJP. “The BJD, which has always maintained equidistance from Congress and BJP, has to be more vocal against the Centre for its step-motherly attitude towards Odisha,” he maintained.

On October 31, Mahatab had created a flutter in the political circle by saying the regional party would consider to make an alliance with Congress, if need arises.

Talking to OTV, he had said “I don’t see any logic behind the ‘equal distance’ policy in case of Congress as the national party doesn’t remain the same like before. The BJD will make an amendment to its stand, if required.”

He had also said that the BJD will not have any issues to present the demand of Odisha before the Centre in association with the non-BJP political parties.

Talking about the issue to the media persons here, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said Mahatab has given his clarification to the media about his earlier statement. Previously the Cuttack MP had also given his statement and later given a clarification. “We are aware of his statements and clarifications and the party supremo will take a decision in this regard very soon”, he added.

Asked about the meeting between Mahatab and the chief minister, government chief whip Anant Das said he has no idea about the meeting and what has transpired.

He, however, said the chief minister, in his address to a public meeting in Balasore on his one-day visit t the district on November 3 had made it clear that the BJD will have no alliance with the Congress and the BJP as it has decided maintain equidistance from these two parties.

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