Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik share dais

Chennai: In the midst of talks about possible coming together of some regional satraps, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on Friday shared dais at a function here, lavishly praising each other on their administrative capabilities.

Reflecting the growing warmth between them, Jayalalithaa said Patnaik was like her "brother" and several welfare schemes implemented in both states showed that "our two governments think alike and we think alike".

Patnaik, whose two-day visit here assumed significance in the backdrop of the forthcoming Presidential election and opposition by non-Congress ruled states to the Centre`s proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre, recalled his late father Biju Patnaik describing Jayalalithaa as an "excellent administrator".

He said he also endorsed the views of his late father on Jayalalithaa, who during her tenure brought several "revolutionary" steps like distribution of laptops to students, mangal sutra to girls and various pro-poor measures. "You have set a very high standard for different states in the country to follow," Patnaik told Jayalalithaa.

The meeting between Jayalalithaa and Patnaik also gains importance with speculations rife about a possible non-UPA, non-NDA combine emerging as a third alternative before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

"In the present system of multi-level governace, operating within a federal structure like that of India, harmonious relations with other states are indispensable," Jayalalithaa said after laying the foundation stone for Odisha Bhavan, to be constructed on a 12,000 sq.ft land in the city.

Jayalalithaa said there was a definite and very high level of inter-dependency among the States wherein they needed to "act together and prosper together".

Noting that there was a need to establish a "growth transmitting linkage" between Tamil Nadu and Odisha, Jayalalithaa said, "I am sure both States will emerge as partners in all spheres of development".

Referring to the land allotted in Velachery for the construction of the Odisha Bhavan, she assured her government`s support and expressed hope that it would be constructed soon. Patnaik said his government would provide necessary funds for the construction of the Bhavan. "The Bhavan once completed will fulfill the long felt demand of people from Odisha".