Naveen-Modi meeting fuels alliance chatter

Bhubaneswar: At a time when political rivalry between BJD and BJP is at its peak in Bijepur, the meeting between Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday in Delhi has triggered chatter about a new political equation between the two parties.

While speculations are doing rounds in the political circle in State that Naveen Patnaik has chalked out a fresh strategy to counter the saffron surge, BJD dismissed such guesswork dubbing the meeting as simply a courtesy call.

“A courtesy call should not be construed as political. The reason of the meeting is amply clear,” said Amar Satpathy, BJD spokesperson.

Though Naveen had cleared the air soon on Wednesday that his 20-minute meeting with the PM was only confined to gifting the photo biography of Biju Patnaik – ‘The Tall Man Biju Patnaik;’ his clarification seemed too singular to be true for political analysts who can’t digest the fact that politics didn’t figure in the discussion between the two.

It is widely rumoured that Naveen wants to prove his mettle in national politics like his father Biju Patnaik.

Recently, he had assembled a group of national leaders on one stage during the inauguration of the photo biography of his father and former CM Biju Patnaik.

Odisha BJP, on the other hand, said Naveen has made a vain attempt to mislead voters of Bijepur.

“He has made a failed attempt to mislead voters of Bijepur by meeting the PM. BJP national president has directed us to fight for the rights of Odisha people,” BJP State vice-president Sameer Mohanty said.

Congress as usual described the Naveen-Modi meeting an old nexus. “The nexus between the two is nothing new. If he doesn’t meet the PM at regular intervals, CBI would act tough on his party leaders in various cases,” senior Congress leader, Srikant Jena said.