BJD not part of Mahagathbandhan: Odisha CM

Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said his party will not be a part of Mahagathabandhan, a grand alliance of opposition parties.

He also said that the party will continue to remain equidistant from both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

“As far as the Mahagathbandhan is concerned, BJD is not a part of it. We continue with our policy of equidistance from the BJP and Congress,” said Patnaik.

At a farmers’ convention in New Delhi on Tuesday, the Chief Minister had said that the party will decide on joining the grand alliance of opposition parties later.

He also denied about any ministry reshuffle after the resignation of Agriculture and Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy over his controversial remark on the acquittal of two accused in a gangrape and murder case in his Pipili Assembly constituency.

After CM Naveen’s clarification Congress alleged that there is a nexus between the BJD and BJP.

“They (BJD) have always been saying about the equidistant policy but they have been supporting the BJP in every issue. When a vote is given to BJD, it is same as voting for BJP,” OPCC President, Niranjan Patnaik said.

Meanwhile the saffron party raised doubts over the ‘Mahagathbandhan’.

“Except N. Chandrababu Naidu,other regional parties including SP,BSP and Trinamool Congress have stated the process to leave the ‘Mahagathbandhan’. There is no such grand alliance and it seems like an insubstantial dream,” BJP State general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said.

Meanwhile, political experts in the state have opined that the ruling-BJD is keeping all options open and will chart its course accordingly with the change in political environment.

“If BJD makes an alliance with any other party of the Mahagathbandhan, it will be like a self-destruction step. With this it will keep all its option open,” senior journalist and politics expert, Prasanna Mohanty said.

(With inputs from IANS)