Need time to decide on joining 'mahagathbandhan': Naveen Patnaik
Bhubaneswar, Jan 8: The Biju Janta Dal (BJD) will decide on joining the "mahagathbandhan" of opposition parties later as it needs time to firm up its decision, party president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Tuesday.
Participating in the BJD's sit-in in New Delhi seeking an increase in the minimum support price for paddy, Patnaik alleged that the BJP ignored the demand despite promising it in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Asked about his party's stand on joining the "mahagathbandhan", Patnaik said, "We will take some time and think about it."
The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has stepped up efforts to increase footprint in Odisha where it won nine out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 parliamentary elections. The BJD had won 10 seats and the Congress two.
After its impressive win in panchayat elections in the state in 2017, the BJP has shifted focus on the state with an aim to upstage the BJD.
The success of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2017 panchayat elections in Odisha has led to predictions that the BJP will emerge as the largest party in the state in the 2019 elections.
Interestingly, nine MPs of the BJD had voted in favour of NDA nominee Harivansh Narayan Singh in the election to the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman held in August last year.