Lok Sabha elections 2019|‘No majority for any party’: Odisha CM sees key role for BJD in government formation - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha elections 2019|‘No majority for any party’: Odisha CM sees key role for BJD in government formation

Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty
Mar 24, 2019 06:34 PM IST

Patnaik has so far refused to join the Mahagathbandhan alliance of opposition leaders comprising Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Mayawati of BSP, Mamata Banerjee of Trinamul Congress and Chandrababu Naidu of TDP among others preferring to remain neutral.

Predicting that no party will get majority in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik today said his party will play a key role in the formation of the government at the Centre.

Accusing the BJP of reneging on its promise of according special category status to Odisha during the 2014 elections, Patnaik said the party forgot about it after coming to power.(HT PHOTO)
Accusing the BJP of reneging on its promise of according special category status to Odisha during the 2014 elections, Patnaik said the party forgot about it after coming to power.(HT PHOTO)

Kicking off his party’s electoral campaign at a public meeting in Odisha’s Nayagarh district today, Patnaik said BJD will play a key role in forming the government as it would win all 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state. “I hope you put your blessings on the conch symbol and let us make sure that we fight against the historical neglect that Odisha has been facing for all these years,” he said at the meeting.

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Patnaik has so far refused to join the Mahagathbandhan alliance of opposition leaders comprising Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Mayawati of BSP, Mamata Banerjee of Trinamul Congress and Chandrababu Naidu of TDP among others preferring to remain neutral.

In the 2014 election, BJD had won 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats leaving only Sundargarh seat to BJP, its one-time ally. But with BJP making a determined bid to win around a dozen Lok Sabha seats, a keen contest is expected between the BJD and BJP on a large number of seats in the state. PM Modi is scheduled to come to Odisha on March 29 and April 1 to address two public meetings at Jeypore and Kalahandi that will go to polls in the first phase scheduled for April 11.

Accusing the BJP of reneging on its promise of according special category status to Odisha during the 2014 elections, Patnaik said the party forgot about it after coming to power. “BJP leaders cannot fight for Odisha as they are being controlled by the Central High Command. But, BJD is Odisha’s party. Our high command is the people of the state and with them lies the remote control. If Odisha gets it (special category status), then the state and the people will get a lot of benefits. There will be a surplus of funds, more youths will get jobs and further development will follow,” he said.

On the Mahanadi river water issue, the chief minister said the Centre had supported Chhattisgarh. “In Polavaram, they supported Andhra Pradesh. Odisha is lacking in telecom, banking, and national highway. Is all of this not Centre’s neglect? Despite getting profit of Rs 20,000 crore from Odisha alone in Railways, the rail network of this state is the poorest. All the money is going to other states. Centre is getting thousands of crores from coal mining here, but Odisha is getting only dust. Is this not Centre’s neglect?” he asked.

Reacting to Patnaik’s speech at Nayagarh, BJP national secretary and party candidate for Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency, Suresh Pujari said the CM was living in a fool’s paradise. “Let him him enjoy his statements till May 23. He has very limited time to enjoy his utterances. By the noon of May 23, his dream will disappear and he will wake up to the reality of a NDA government with full majority,” said Pujari.

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