Naveen deserves to be Prime Minister: SN Patro

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the counting of votes on May 23, BJD vice president SN Patro today signalled that the regional party could play a decisive role in forming the government at the Centre by throwing his weight behind party president and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik for Prime Minister’s post.

While speaking to reporters, Patro said, “People in the country as well in Odisha want to see CM Naveen Patnaik as Prime Minister and he is also a deserving candidate to lead the country. However, it should not be on the back of Congress support.”

Patro further said that Congress in the past has ditched the person it supported for the Prime Minister’s post.

To a question whether BJD will support NDA or UPA as the party has been claiming to maintain equidistance from both the parties in the past, Patro said, “CM Naveen Patnaik had categorically stated earlier that BJD will support the party which will work in favour of Odisha’s interests.”

Patro’s statements assume significance on the recent backdrop of PM Modi and CM Naveen Patnaik getting conspicuously cordial and mutually appreciating each other over cyclone Fani management.

Earlier, Naveen Patnaik at a poll meeting held at Nayagarh had stated that regional parties including BJD will play crucial role in forming government at the Centre as no national parties will get a clear mandate in 2019 elections.

Responding to Patro’s statements, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik said, “Earlier, CM Naveen Patnaik used to reiterate about his party’s equidistance policy. Later, during elections, CM  said that they (BJD) will support whoever forms government at the Centre.”