Wiped out from Lok Sabha, BJD's big shift in stance over opposing BJP: ‘No more support’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Wiped out from Lok Sabha, BJD's big shift in stance over opposing BJP: ‘No more support’

Jun 24, 2024 06:21 PM IST

Naveen Patnaik also asked the lawmakers to raise issues concerning the state's interests in a befitting manner.

Former Odisha chief minister and Biju Janta Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik has asked his party's nine Rajya Sabha MPs to emerge as a "vibrant and strong" opposition in the Upper House of Parliament, PTI reported.

Former Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.(File)
Former Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.(File)

The message was conveyed at a meeting between Patnaik and the lawmakers on Monday. He also asked the lawmakers to raise issues concerning the state's interests in a befitting manner.

"The BJD MPs this time will not be confined to speaking on issues only, but are determined to agitate if the BJP-led government at the Centre ignores Odisha's interest," BJD Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra told reporters.

Besides raising demand for special status to Odisha, the BJD MPs will raise the issues of poor mobile connectivity and low density of bank branches in the state, he added.

"Odisha's demand for revision of coal royalty has been ignored by the Centre for the last 10 years. This is causing great loss to the people of the state who are deprived of their rightful share," Patra said.

Also Read | Naveen Patnaik elected leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly

On being asked whether the BJD would maintain its earlier stance of giving issue-based support to the BJP-led government, he said: "No more support to BJP, only opposition. We may go to any extent to protect the interests of Odisha."

"There is no question of supporting the BJP. The BJD president asked us to act as a strong and vibrant opposition if the NDA government continues to ignore the genuine demands of Odisha," he added.

Also Read | VK Pandian: Once said to be the political heir, now in the crosshairs of the BJP

The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD lost power to the BJD in the Odisha Assembly elections. It also failed to win any seat in the Lok Sabha elections, a first since its formation in 1997.

In the past, the BJD has not only supported the BJP in Parliament on key bills and issues, but it also helped Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw get elected to Rajya Sabha in 2019 and 2024.

(Inputs from PTI)

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