Manmohan Samal Puts To Rest Speculation On Pre-Poll BJP-BJD Alliance In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Odisha BJP president Manmohan Samal, who returned to Bhubaneswar after meeting the central leadership last night, refuted speculation of any alliance with the BJD ahead of the simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly in April.

He reiterated that the saffron party will contest the upcoming elections alone, dismissing rumours of about the possible tie up. “It is a figment of someone’s imagination. There is no question of any alliance with the BJD. The BJP will contest all 21 Lok Sabha & 147 Assembly seats in Odisha,” he told reporters.

Samal also exuded confidence that the saffron party will win all 21 Lok Sabha. “PM Narendra Modi would secure a third term and the party will also form the ‘double-engine’ government in Odisha,” he said.

He added that the BJP will release its first list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections by Saturday. He, however, declined to answer how many from Odisha will feature in the list. “Wait for the list,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Odisha for a second time within a month on March 5, the birth anniversary of legendary leader Biju Patnaik in whose memory BJD was founded, had further fanned speculation about a possible alliance.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi March 5 Odisha Visit Fuels BJD-BJP Alliance Talk

Sources within BJP and BJP also did not rule out the possibility of a tie-up, saying the top leadership of both parties (known to be on good terms) might be mulling over it. Political circles here are also talking about the possibility of the Centre possibly acceding to the long standing demand to confer Bharat Ratna on Biju Patnaik posthumously.

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