On Odisha CM's 'pleasant stay' tweet for Nitish, BJP's jibe: ‘seems on holiday’

May 09, 2023 08:27 PM IST

The denial of both leaders of discussing politics comes amid talks of unity among non-BJP parties ahead of next year's polls.

Union minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday took a swipe at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar over his meeting with Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, saying the "statements and emotionless pictures" shared by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader seems to suggest the JD(U) leader was on a vacation.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik addresses the media after a meeting, in Bhubaneswar, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.(PTI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik addresses the media after a meeting, in Bhubaneswar, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.(PTI)

Amid efforts to forge unity among non-BJP parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Nitish Kumar held a discussion with Naveen Patnaik for around an hour at Odisha CM's residence. The two leaders, however, claimed that no discussion on any political alliance between the JD(U) and BJD for the Lok Sabha elections next year was held in the meeting.

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"No discussion was held on any alliance today. I am delighted that Nitish ji came to Bhubaneswar. We are old friends and colleagues ever since we served in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cabinet," Patnaik told reporters.

Patnaik shared some photographs from the meeting, and tweeted: "Glad to meet #Bihar Chief Minister Shri @NitishKumar in #Bhubaneswar. #Odisha shares a special bond with Bihar and the people of the neighbouring state. Hope he had a pleasant and fruitful stay in Odisha."

Reacting to Patnaik's tweet, Giriraj Singh, BJP's firebrand leader from Bihar, said, “The kind of statements and emotionless pictures shared by Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik ji on Nitish Kumar ji and his meeting, it seems that Nitish Kumar ji had gone there for a holiday. #PleasantStay"

Earlier in the day, Nitish Kumar was welcomed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport by state minister Ashok Chandra Panda and BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra. Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting, Kumar said, "Our relation with his (Naveen) father Biju Babu and Naveen ji is very old. Due to the COVID pandemic, we could not meet. No political discussions were held. We have good relations and there is no need to discuss any politics."

He is also scheduled to visit Mumbai and hold meetings with senior Opposition leaders. The Bihar chief minister will arrive in Mumbai on May 11 afternoon and head directly to Matoshree, the residence of Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray in Bandra, where he will hold talks with the former chief minister.

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