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'BJP is sinking quite fast', says Naveen Patnaik


Bhubaneswar, March 15: After the party faced poll reverses in the Lok Sabha and assembly by-polls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the BJP is "sinking quite fast", Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI file photo

The chief of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which was in alliance with the BJP till 2009, added that he had not thought about aligning with any front.

The BJP lost to the Samajwadi Party in the Lok Sabha by-elections in Gorakhpur, a seat vacated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and in Phulpur.

In Bihar, Lalu Prasad's RJD won the Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jehanabad Assembly seat, leaving the BJP with the Bhabhua Assembly seat, ''We can see BJP is sinking ... It is sinking quite fast,'' Patnaik told reporters in response to questions on the saffron party's performance in the by-polls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.'

Asked about the BJD aligning with non-BJP parties, Patnaik said ''We have not thought of any alliance for the time being. There are no such thoughts.''

However, the chief minister, who claimed to maintain equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress since 2009, did not rule out the possibility of joining a front in the future. The BJD-BJP combine ruled the state for about nine years from 2000-2009.

The alliance broke ahead of the 2009 general election over a dispute on seat distribution for the assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Patnaik had then described BJP as "communal" and the Congress as "corrupt".


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