Nitish Kumar To Meet Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik On May 5 Amid New Front Buzz

Bhubaneswar: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar, who is on a blitzkrieg of opposition-ruled states ahead of the 2024 general elections, will visit Odisha on May 5 and meet CM and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.

While media reports termed it as a significant move to unify the opposition against the BJP, sources here, however, said that no meeting has been planned till now between the two CMs.

It may be recalled that earlier in April this year, after meeting prominent opposition leaders in Delhi, Nitish Kumar had announced that he would travel across the country to unite opposition parties.

Addressing a gathering at the JD-U office here on the occasion of B.R. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, he said, “I have been advocating for opposition unity ever since the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar. Everyone appreciated my decision to leave the NDA. I was waiting for the call for 7 months and when they (Congress leaders) called me, I went there and interacted with them.”

Besides Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the Bihar CM has already met West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress (TMC) head Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow and and Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja.

In March, the meeting between Naveen and Mamata in the Odisha capital had renewed the buzz of the Trinamool chief leading an initiative to forge an alliance of regional parties against the BJP. However, Mamata called the meeting a “courtesy call” and Naveen said that there was no “political discussion” during the meeting, “We resolved to make the federal structure of the country permanent and strong. There was no other political discussion,” he said.

Also Read: Naveen-Mamata Meeting: Check The Gifts Exchanged By The 2 CMs In Odisha Capital

Naveen had invited both Mamata and Nitish to Odisha in December last year to witness the World Cup Hockey 2023.

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 the twin polls.

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