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Odisha BJP MLA smells a rat, says Patnaik meeting with Vajpayee more than mere courtesy call

Bhubaneswar: A day after BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik met former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Delhi, a BJP MLA on Tuesday claimed the Odisha Chief Minister's visit was more than just a courtesy call.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI

"We suspect that Naveen Patnaik meeting Vajpayeeji is not just a courtesy call. He (Naveen) might have some motive behind the meeting. Why did Naveen meet Vajpayeeji after such a long time? What made him pay a visit now?" questioned BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit.

Claiming that the people of Odisha have lost faith in the ruling BJD government and Patnaik was losing his
popularity, Purohit said, "It appeared that BJD wants to be closer with the BJP in order to retain power after 2019 elections."

"Naveen's meeting create suspicion as he has not bothered to meet Vajpayeeji even though the former prime
minister has been ailing for about seven years. Why now," Purohit asked.

Patnaik had on Monday also made it clear that there was no politics behind his meeting with Vajpayee.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal strongly reacted to the statement made by the BJP MLA.

"How could Purohit know that Patnaik did not meet Vajpayee earlier. The chief minister was in regular touch
with Vajpayee's family and used to enquire about his health condition," said BJD spokesman SN Patro.

Another BJD spokesman PK Deb said the chief minister was close to Vajpayee since the beginning of his political career in 1997. As the former prime minister has good relation with people of Odisha and Patnaik as well, the chief minister met him during his stay in Delhi.

Ridiculing the BJP MLA's statement, Deb said the BJD do not want any coalition. "BJD continues to remain the
number one political party in Odisha and Patnaik enjoyed the support of masses. Therefore, why should BJD work for a coalition with any party," Deb said.

Updated Date: Apr 25, 2017 21:12 PM

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