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Post poll debacle, Patnaik’s diktat to BJD MPs: 'No more support to BJP, emerge as strong Opposition'

Naveen Patnaik held a meeting with the Rajya Sabha MPs of his party on Monday and asked them to emerge as a strong Opposition. He also instructed them to raise the issues of the state.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Updated on: June 24, 2024 15:49 IST
Naveen Patnaik, BJD, Rajya Sabha, BJP
Image Source : PTI BJD chief Naveen Patnaik

BJD president Naveen Patnaik held a meeting with his party’s Rajya Sabha MPs on Monday (June 24) and asked them to emerge as a “vibrant and strong” Opposition in the Upper House of the Parliament as the upcoming session begins on June 27. At the meeting, Patnaik also directed the nine party lawmakers to raise issues concerning the state’s interests in a befitting manner. Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, BJD Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra said, “The BJD MPs this time will not be confined to speaking on issues only, but are determined to agitate if the BJP-led government at the Centre ignores Odisha's interest”.

Patra said that the BJD MPs, besides raising the demand for special status to Odisha, will also raise the issues of poor mobile connectivity and low density of bank branches in the state.

"Odisha's demand for revision of coal royalty has been ignored by the Centre for the last 10 years. This is causing great loss to the people of the state who are deprived of their rightful share," he added.

What was Patnaik’s message to BJD MPs?

When asked if BJD would continue to maintain its earlier stance of extending issue-based support to the BJP-led Centre, Patra said, “No more support to BJP, only opposition. We may go to any extent to protect the interests of Odisha”.

Later, he told news agency PTI, “There is no question of supporting the BJP. The BJD president asked us to act as a strong and vibrant opposition if the NDA government continues to ignore the genuine demands of Odisha”.

The BJD has nine MPs in the Rajya Sabha, while it failed to win any seat in the recently held Lok Sabha elections, for the first time since its formation in 1997. The BJD also lost power in the state with the BJP bringing an end to its government of 24 years.

The BJD not only supported the BJP in Parliament on different issues over the last few years but also helped Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw get elected to Rajya Sabha in 2019 and 2024.

(With PTI inputs)

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