Naveen Patnaik: No possibility of Third Front; BJD to go alone in 2024 LS polls

Naveen Patnaik: No possibility of Third Front; BJD to go alone in 2024 LS polls

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday (May 11) dismissed any possibility of the emergence of a Third Front right now and made it clear that his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will go solo in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls, as it has “always” done.

Patnaik made this statement to the media in New Delhi, days after JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar met him amid efforts to forge a united opposition flank.

He was talking to the media in the national capital after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over developmental issues related to his state. Patnaik also brushed off Bihar CM Kumar’s visit to Bhubaneswar to see him as a “courtesy call”, even as he stressed his party’s position of remaining equidistant both from the Congress as well as the BJP.

Also read: Mamata to meet Naveen Patnaik after Akhilesh; third front buzz intensifies

BJD’s neutral stand

Patnaik has been at the helm in Odisha since 2000 and his BJD is among some regional parties, which have maintained a neutral stand on the issues involving clashes between the ruling BJP and Opposition. At times, it has supported the BJP in Parliament as well.

Patnaik said he met the PM to raise issues related to his state.

In the meeting that lasted around 20-25 minutes, Patnaik raised issues related to infrastructure development in the state, including the under-construction Sri Jagannath Airport, incomplete national highways and opening of bank branches in Gram Panchayat, which do not have the facility.

Asked about his meeting with Kumar, and the possibility of a third front emerging, he said, “No, not as far as I’m concerned, not now.” Asked if the BJD will fight the upcoming elections alone, he said, “That has always been the case.”

Also read: It should be main front, not third front: Nitish Kumar on opposition unity

Patnaik, who is in Delhi till Friday, also clarified that he has no plans of meeting any other leaders in the current trip. On his meeting with Kumar on Tuesday, he said, “It was a courtesy call, he paid a visit. It went off well.”

On Tuesday after the meeting, both Patnaik and Kumar had claimed that no discussion were held on any political alliance between the JD(U) and BJD for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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