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Patnaik’s Delhi Visit Sparks Speculations In Odisha Political Circle

Patnaik’s sudden visit to Delhi sparked speculations that the BJD president may meet some opposition leaders who are already in touch with Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee on forming an opposition grouping ahead of the 2024 elections.  

File photo of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
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A day after meeting his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday left for a four-day trip to the national capital, leading to speculations being bandied about in the state's political circles. 

Though the chief minister’s office said that Patnaik has a number of official engagements to meet union ministers during his stay in Delhi, sources in the ruling BJD claimed that he may meet political leaders from other parties too. He is scheduled to return to Odisha on May 13, 

Patnaik’s sudden visit to Delhi sparked speculations that the BJD president may meet some opposition leaders who are already in touch with Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee on forming an opposition grouping ahead of the 2024 elections.  

The Odisha chief minister's move is being apparently seen as aimed at sending a message to the BJP which has of late become an aggressive foe in Odisha ahead of the 2024 general elections. Though the BJD officially has claimed it was maintaining equal distance from both the BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA, the party has often supported the saffron party on various issues and bills. 

Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra alleged Patnaik has all along supported the BJP central leadership, “Threfore, there is no fear of CBI or ED in Odisha.”  BJP state president Manmohan Samal however claimed that BJD has all along perused opportunistic politics. 

“Patnaik was in alliance with BJP (2000-2009) due to compulsion,” Samal said. However, BJD vice-president Prasanna Acharya said the BJD all along works for the interest of Odisha alone. “Our politics are for the benefits of Odisha,” he said. 

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