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BJD may extend support to NDA

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), a former ally of the BJP, may join back the NDA camp to help in government formation at the Centre, indicated a party leader.

With most of the exit and post-poll surveys predicting the BJP-led NDA winning the Lok Sabha elections, regional parties and estranged allies seem to be warming up the saffron party.

“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 told a news channel.

The party would support NDA if BJP leaders promise to accord special category status to Odisha, a long-standing demand of the state, he said.

This apart, BJD would also like to get a clear assurance from the Centre that no part of Odisha would be affected by implementation of the Polavaram multi-purpose project in Andhra Pradesh, said another BJD leader.

However, party chief Naveen Patnaik said that a final call on allying with the NDA was yet to be taken. He said, “Not in talks with NDA,have not decided to support NDA as we have not discussed yet.”

Tripathy’s statement has annoyed many senior BJD leaders who feel he has spoken out of turn.

Party veteran and Health minister Dr Damodar Rout says – it’s improper for anybody other than the party president to spell out what stand the BJD would take after the results are announced.

The state BJP leaders, who are ‘very confident’ that the Modi-led NDA would win a comfortable majority in Lok Sabha and form the next government at the Centre, feel they would not need the support of a small number of MPs from a party which ‘back-stabbed’ them in 2009.

However, political observers feel Naveen Patnaik will have little option than appear friendly to BJP just in case it is in a position to form the next government in Delhi.

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