Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi after which he spoke to the media and said that his party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will not join JD(U) leader in his bid to unite the opposition against BJP for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
He said BJD will go solo in the polls as it has “always” done. This comes days after Kumar met Patnaik amid efforts to forge a united opposition flank.
CM Patnaik, 76, spoke to media in the national capital after meeting with the PM over developmental issues related to Odisha. He clarified that Kumar’s visit to Bhubaneswar was a courtesy call and that his party will remain equidistant both from the Congress as well as the BJP.
Patnaik led BJD has been in power in the state since 2000 and is among some regional parties that have maintained a neutral stand on matters that have been a point of friction between BJP and the opposition. It has sometimes supported the BJP in the Parliament.
The Odisha CM said that in his meet with the PM he 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.