BJD will fight the 2024 elections on its own: BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik

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  • Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said his party’s policy of contesting elections alone would continue. 
  • “There is no possibility of a ‘third front’ as far as I am concerned” – Naveen Patnaik said. 
  • Patnaik said his meeting with the Prime Minister was to discuss “issues related to Odisha”. 
  • Talks of the BJD contemplating joining a united opposition front started doing the rounds since Patnaik met Nitish Kumar, However, both leaders played down the meeting as a “courtesy call”. 
  • The politics of “equidistance” has served Patnaik well in his over two-decades stint as the Odisha CM. He is happy being the CM of Odisha and has time and again made clear his political ambition does not lie in national politics. 

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday clarified that his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will not be part of an opposition third front, which is being proposed to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Patnaik, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Thursday, said his party’s policy of contesting elections alone would continue. “There is no possibility of a ‘third front’ as far as I am concerned. Not now,” Patnaik told reporters after meeting Modi. “BJD will fight the 2024 elections on its own. That has always been the policy of BJD.”

Patnaik, whose party has offered support to the BJP on various issues in the past, said his meeting with the Prime Minister was to discuss “issues related to Odisha”. “My discussions were mainly related to Odisha’s demands and the international airport proposed in Puri. As the (air) traffic at Bhubaneswar international airport is becoming more, we talked about the proposed Puri airport,” said Patnaik, the longest-serving chief minister of Odisha. “The PM said he will definitely help in every way possible.”

Talks of the BJD contemplating joining a united opposition front started doing the rounds since Patnaik met Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday. However, both leaders played down the meeting as a “courtesy call”.

In a bid to get all opposition parties on board to project a unified fight against the BJP, Kumar has met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, and Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren in the past two months.

Political observers said the politics of “equidistance” has served Patnaik well in his over two-decade stint as the Odisha CM. He is happy being the CM of Odisha and has time and again made clear his political ambition does not lie in national politics.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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