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New alliance? Jaya praises 'brother' Naveen

The meeting between Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik also gains importance with speculation rife about a possible non-UPA, non-NDA combine emerging as a third alternative before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

india Updated: May 11, 2012 22:38 IST

Tamil-Nadu-chief-minister-J-Jayalalithaa-and-her-Odisha-counterpart-Naveen-Patnaik-at-76th-Utkal-Dibas-Samaroh-2012-in-Chennai-PTI-Photo-by-R-Senthil-Kumar( )

Triggering speculation of a possible realignment among non-UPA and non-NDA parties, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik met on Friday, pointing to the "natural synergy" between them.

But the Presidential election issue did not figure at the luncheon meeting held at the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, said the Tamil Nadu chief minister.

"If we had discussed anything like that, we would have told you about it", Jayalalithaa told reporters after the brief meeting as she warmly referred to Patnaik as her "brother" while recalling that his father Biju Patnaik was a "father figure" to her.

"There was a natural synergy between myself and Biju Patnaikji.... Biju Patnaik left behind a legacy of respect, cooperation and mutual affection. This legacy is reflected in the bond that I continue to share with Naveen Patnaikji", the AIADMK supremo said.

"Biju Patnaikji was like a father figure to me and Naveen Patnaik is my brother", she said, reflecting the warmth between the two leaders who have taken common position on certain issues like opposing the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

In his brief remarks, Patnaik said Jayalalithaa was a "long-standing family friend".

To a question on Patnaik's suggestion that Jayalalithaa should head a sub-committee on NCTC, she said "what I think is not important. This was the suggestion made to the Central government, more particularly the ministry of home affairs... It is upto them to accept or reject the suggestion".

Earlier in the day, the two leaders shared the dais at a function to lay the foundation stone for Odisha Bhavan here, lavishly praising each other on their administrative capabilities.

Referring to Patnaik as her "brother", Jayalalithaa said several welfare schemes implemented in both states showed that "our two governments think alike and we think alike".

Patnaik's two-day visit here assumed significance in the backdrop of forthcoming Presidential election and opposition by states like Tamil Nadu and Odisha to the Centre's proposed NCTC.

The BJD leader recalled his father describing Jayalalithaa as an "excellent administrator" and said he also endorsed his views that during her tenure as Chief Minister several "revolutionary" welfare measures were brought in.

"You have set a very high standard for different states in the country to follow", Patnaik told Jayalalithaa.

The meeting between Jayalalithaa and Patnaik also gains importance with speculation rife about a possible non-UPA, non-NDA combine emerging as a third alternative before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

First Published: May 11, 2012 18:43 IST

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