Bhubaneswar: It is not lost on anyone that the non-BJP parties will be aligning themselves on one side of the fence to put up a fight against the BJP in the upcoming presidential elections.
After JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar met Sonia Gandhi yesterday, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi confirmed that the former also held discussions with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on the upcoming president election while he visited Bhubaneswar.
“This has also happened earlier when we were a part of the anti-Congress politics wherein we had fielded candidate representing the entire opposition. We still want that the fight should not be symbolic but strong as the numbers are almost equal. We also feel that there should be a strong opposition in a democracy. In this regard Nitish has met Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, with whom the JD(U) shares a relationship of over past 30 years,” said Tyagi.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was in Odisha on March 7 to pay tributes to former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray when he had met Naveen.
While the ruling-BJD in Odisha did not clarify its stance on the matter, the Congress said it is keeping an eye on the NDA candidate while the BJP has criticised such efforts by the opposition.
“When the election commission announces the dates of the President election then the party chief will take a decision,” said BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb.
“First there should be consensus among the NDA parties to field a single candidate then we will look into it,” said Congress leader, Narsingha Mishra.
“The manner in which the parties are starting to chalk out political game plans, it is absolutely futile,” said Odisha BJP’s Prithwiraj Harichandan.