BJD leader Jay Panda hints at providing ‘conditional support’ to NDA, Patnaik non-commital

The BJD was part of the NDA but parted ways. The BJD was part of the NDA but parted ways. Express Archive

Senior BJD leader Baijayant Jay Panda on Wednesday hinted that the Naveen Patnaik led party could provide contitional support to the Nation Democratic Alliance (NDA) which has been projected to win the Lok Sabha elections. 

Panda wrote on Twitter that one of the ‘party members had mooted this idea but has not been discussed in the party.’

Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik today remained non-committal on supporting NDA in government formation at the Centre.

“No talks at all. We have not discussed anything. We havenot thought of it yet. Let us wait till the results,” he said.

Patnaik’s comment come after speculation about talks between BJP and BJD for their possible support to the NDA if it forms the government at the Centre.

BJD was an partner of NDA but parted ways just before the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. A senior BJD leader had yesterday indicated conditional support to NDA in government formation at the Centre.

“Keeping in view the opinion of the whole country and the state’s interest, there should be no problem in providing conditional support to NDA to form government at the Centre,” BJD’s chief whip Pravat Tripathy had said.

Senior BJD leader Jay Panda, however, said the matter needs to be discussed within the party and a call on this will be taken by the party supremo. “On this issue, Pravat Tripathi has suggested that conditional support can be given but this is an issue which needs discussion inside the party and ultimately the party leaders and president Naveen Patnaik will take the final call,” Panda said.

Meanwhile, senior BJD leader Pinaki Mishra expressed confidence that his party will get more than ten seats in Parliament and also get a comfortable majority in the Assembly elections to form the government for the fourth term.

“We will get 16-17 seats in the Parliament out of 21. The BJP in Odisa will get maximum one or two. The Congress will be wiped out. We will get more than 100-105 out of 147 in the assembly and comfortably form a government for the fourth time under Naveen Patnaik’s leadership,” he said.

He, however, hoped that whichever government comes to power at the Centre, it will be “less hostile and discriminatory” towards Odisha.

“We are hopeful that whichever the new government is will be less hostile and discriminatory towards Odisha,” he said.

Training his guns at the Congress, Mishra said he Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had been very “hostile” towards the state.

“Congress has been very hostile for the last ten years because they do not get votes in Odisha so they have decided to discriminate against its people. This is a vicious cycle because now they are reaping a bitter harvest because of this step motherly treatment and they are being kept out of power for the fourth consecutive term,” he added.

Meanwhile, BJP today said it is open to any support extended by parties which were not part of a pre-poll alliance even though the combine will get a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Actual results of election will be giving more seats than what exit polls are predicting and, therefore, we will get absolute majority but still all parties which want to support the NDA from the national development viewpoint or in the national interest are all welcome,” BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Speculation is rife about talks between BJP and AIDMK and BJD leaders for their possible support to NDA which, according to pollsters, could form the next government at the Centre.

“All parties are also repositioning themselves to the new reality which they were denying till the campaign was on. That is the usual political process. We want to take everybody along,” Javadekar said. 

BJP leaders maintained that the country wants a “stable and performing” government and the NDA coalition will form the government with 300 plus seats.

 “The entire country wants that there should be a stable and a performing government. The present NDA will form the
government after getting majority with 300 plus seats,” Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Asked about alliances, Naqvi said that BJP has not put up a “no entry” board and the party was open to alliances.    

“Who wants to support and who actually does….The NDA or the BJP has not hung up a no entry board. We want to give a good government and governance in the country and bring about corrections in the otherwise poor economic scenario,” he said.

With PTI inputs