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Odisha: BJD chief Naveen Patnaik rules out possibility of tie-up with BJP as early election speculations rife in state

Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik on Sunday ruled out any possibility of a tie-up with the BJP and said his party is fully prepared to face election anytime.

"The BJD is always prepared for the elections," Patnaik told reporters while responding to queries on his return to Bhubaneswar after a five-day visit to New Delhi.

File image of Naveen Patnaik. PTI

File image of Naveen Patnaik. PTI

On the likelihood of any tie-up with the BJP, the chief minister said, "We will keep equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress."

After JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's decision to return to BJP-led NDA, BJD's moves are being watched as the regional party was also an NDA partner till 2009 when it snapped ties with BJP.

There has been speculation about the possibility of early elections. Both Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections are due in 2019.

Alarmed by the setback it suffered in the panchayat polls in February, the BJD has been launching a host of programmes to keep its organisation in shape to face future elections.

It has also taken a number of steps to counter the BJP and check the saffron surge in the state, BJD sources said.

Patnaik was accorded a rousing welcome by BJD leaders, workers and supporters who had gathered at the Biju Patnaik International Airport.

The crowd greeted the chief minister for being honoured with the best administrator award at a function in New Delhi during his stay there.

Flower petals were showered on his vehicle as it proceeded to his residence Naveen Nivas leading a roadshow.

While dedicating the award to the 4.5 crore people of Odisha, Patnaik expressed his gratitude to the people for their greetings and wishes on winning the award.

The chief minister said he would continue his efforts to make Odisha the most advanced and developed state in the country.


Updated Date: Aug 21, 2017 07:41 AM

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