Odisha Congress alleges BJD-BJP deal ahead of 2024 polls, ruling party responds

Odisha Congress alleges BJD-BJP deal ahead of 2024 polls, ruling party responds

Bhubaneswar: With Congress accusing Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of striking a deal with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of 2024 elections, the ruling party in Odisha on Friday refuted the charge saying it is doing everything for the state’s development.

Taking dig at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Pattanayak said the BJD chief’s statement at the inauguration ceremony of Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express had also raised many eyebrows.

Accusing BJD of indulging in dirty and cheap politics for the next elections, the Congress leader claimed that a close bond exists between BJD and BJP. “Both the parties are like brothers. However, they are ptetending to be opposing earh other in order to mislead people,” he claimed.

Claiming that many BJD leaders are involved in CBI and ED cases, the PCC chief said Naveen visited Delhi to meet Modi a day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is trying to unite non-BJP parties, called on him in Bhubaneswar.

The BJD president’s Delhi visit was aimed at telling Modi that his party is not going to join the proposed third front, he claimed, adding that the main objective was to prevent action by CBI and ED against BJD people ahead of next year’s elections.

Moreover, during his speech at Vande Bharat Express launch Naveen not only heaped praises on the Prime Minister but also invited him to inaugurate the Puri International Airport expected to be ready in 3-4 years of time, hinting that he expects Modi to be in power in 2024 as well, he said.

However, senior BJD leader and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra dismissed the allegations levelled by Congress. The former Minister said that there is no confusion in BJD as the party is quite clear about its future course of action. “We want to safeguard the interest of Odisha,” he said.

Mishra said there is nothing wrong if the Chief Minister took up matters relating to Puri International Airport and Bullet Train with the Prime Minister.

Stating that Naveen had raised these demands with Modi in Delhi, he said the Chief Minister reminded it on Thursday and there is nothing wrong in doing so. BJD is ready to take any step for the interest of Odisha, he said.

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