All Eyes On Naveen Patnaik-Mamata Banerjee Meeting In Odisha Capital Today

Bhubaneswar: Amidst talk of reviving the third Opposition front ahead of 2024 elections, nothing much is being expected from the scheduled meeting between Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, who will conclude her three-day visit to the state on Thursday.

Though Trinamool insiders believe that a discussion on an alliance of regional parties is also expected, Naveen has denied any talks on a third front for 2024 elections. “Not on the agenda,” he said. While in Puri, Mamata too termed it as a “courtesy meeting” since she could not honour an invitation from Naveen during the Hockey World Cup earlier this year. However, these affirmations have failed to convince political observers with the state also going to polls next year.

More so, since this tete-a-tete follows one with Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav during which they announced a new political front, challenging both Congress and the BJP in the upcoming general elections.

To take the discussion on the Third Front forward, she will be meeting former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy at her residence on March 24 and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the national capital later this month. Trinamool leadership has made it clear that the party will reach out to other like-minded parties.

Sources further said that Mamata was keen to have Naveen on board.

Notably, the ruling regional party in Odisha has so far skipped all meetings aimed at forging a third front. While Naveen Patnaik-led BJD has been supporting the Narendra Modi dispensation at the Centre in almost all issues since 2019, the state units of the parties are slowly taking an aggressive stand against each other ahead of 2024 elections.

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