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Naveen Patnaik’s Aide Amid BJP-BJD Alliance Buzz

'No Electoral Value': Naveen Patnaik's Aide Amid BJP-BJD Alliance Buzz


The BJP and BJD do not need each other to win elections, but some things are beyond politics and the two leaders — PM Narendra Modi and CM Naveen Patnaik — want to come together for “a greater cause”, said VK Pandian, the close aide of the chief minister.

Speaking at a media conclave in New Delhi on Tuesday, he said Chief Minister Patnaik and PM Modi share a great friendship.

“Somebody wants to join an alliance because they want to have an impact on the electoral map. Here is a chief minister who is so popular in the state and he gets 3/4th majority every time. In the recently concluded panchayat elections, which are fought on party symbols, he got 90 per cent of the seats. The second party is the BJP with 5 per cent of seats. So, Mr Naveen Patnaik does not need an alliance to come back to serve the people. I would say the same thing about Mr Narendra Modi, the honourable PM,” Mr Pandian said.

“…there are some things beyond politics. It is a mark of great statesmanship, that’s how I put it. Two great leaders wanting to come together for a greater cause. It has significance as two great people coming together as a mark of statesmanship. That’s how I see it, and even the chief minister thinks that way. It has no electoral value either for the BJD or the BJP,” he added.

Mr Pandian said the PM and the chief minister see some things that are beyond politics.

“BJD does not need BJP to form government in the state, and BJP may not need BJD to form government at the Centre. That’s why I made it very clear that it has to do with two individuals who share a great friendship and they see some things are beyond politics. A rare mark of statesmanship,” he said.

Asked about the status of the alliance, he said, “If anything happens, we will all get to know… I told the logic behind this whatever talk (over the alliance) has happened.” Pandian’s statement comes amid weeks of speculations about an alliance between the state’s ruling party and the main opposition, ahead of the simultaneous elections to 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state and the 147-member assembly.

Earlier, state BJP leaders rejected the speculations on several occasions, asserting that they would fight the elections on their own and oust the BJD government.

The BJP and BJD were in alliance for 11 years, from 1998 to 2009. Over the last decade, the BJP decimated the Congress to emerge as the main opposition party in the state.

However, the BJD often extended support to the BJP in Parliament on crucial legislations and even helped Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw get elected to Rajya Sabha from the state.

In the 2019 elections, BJD won 12 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, while the BJP secured eight and Congress managed one seat. In the assembly, the BJD bagged 113 seats, the BJP won 23 seats, the Congress secured nine seats, the CPI(M) won one, and also an Independent candidate won.

Reacting to Mr Pandian’s statement, the Congress said the two parties have been in an “undeclared alliance” over the last 10 years.

“So, the Congress is the only alternative in the state. I appeal to the people of Odisha to support Congress in the upcoming elections,” state Congress Sarat Pattanayak said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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