Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday ruled out supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party or its leader Narendra Modi for the next government in New Delhi.
“There is no chance of that happening,” Patnaik said when asked about the chances of a rapprochement with the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. He also said Modi’s elevation in the BJP would further alienate minority communities from the party.
Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the BJP were allies until their ties ended in the run-up to the 2009 assembly polls. Patnaik severed the ties following the religious riots in the tribal-dominated Kandhamal district of Odisha in 2008.
He has remained non-aligned to any political formation at the national level.
On Tuesday, however, he put his weight behind a third front comprising non-Congress and non-BJP parties, saying, “It will be a very healthy alternative in Indian politics.”
His comments came ahead of a rally that his party will hold in Delhi on Wednesday to press for special category status for Odisha, which will enable the state to draw concessional loans and aid from the central government.
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