Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik went on a four-day trip to the capital on Wednesday, just a day after seeing his colleague from Bihar, Nitish Kumar, sparking rumors in the state's political circles.
Although sources in the governing BJD said that Patnaik may meet political figures from other parties as well, the chief minister's office indicated that Patnaik has a number of formal appointments to see federal ministers during his stay in Delhi. On May 13, he is expected to return to Odisha.
The BJD president's unexpected trip to Delhi has led to rumors that he will meet with opposition figures who are already in contact with Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee to discuss forming an opposition coalition before the 2024 elections.
The move by the chief minister of Odisha is ostensibly intended to send a message to the BJP, which has recently turned into an aggressive opponent in Odisha ahead of the general elections in 2024. Despite the BJD's official declaration that it kept an equal distance from both the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UPA, the saffron party has frequently received the party's support on a variety of issues and legislation.
Congress assembly party leader Narasingha Mishra accused Patnaik has all along backed the BJP central leadership, “Threfore, there is no fear of CBI or ED in Odisha.” Manmohan Samal, the state president of the BJP, asserted that the BJD has always pursued opportunistic politics.
According to Samal, Patnaik's partnership with the BJP from 2000 to 2009 was forced. Prasanna Acharya, vice-president of the BJD, countered that the BJD has always only served Odisha's interests. “Our politics are for the benefits of Odisha,” he said.