Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Ignores Boycott Parliament Launch Call, Niti Aayog Meeting Also On Delhi Itinerary

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to fly to Delhi to attend the Niti Aayog’s governing council on May 27 when issues related to the economy, agriculture and health are expected to be taken up for discussions.

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According to sources, the CM is also likely to attend the inauguration of the new Parliament building to be held in the national capital the following day. His party, BJD, already has distanced itself the 19 opposition parties’ call to skip the “momentous occasion”.

The BJD’s decision was keenly awaited as Opposition parties have been aggressively pursuing the issue of President Droupadi Murmu, whom Naveen had addressed as the daughter of Odisha when she was nominated to the highest office in the country, being sidelined.

Political analysts were predicting that it would be a difficult choice for the party and the decision clearly shows that the Odisha CM does not want to confront or displease the BJP-led government at the centre.

“The President of India is the Head of the Indian State. The Parliament represents the 1.4 billion people of India. Both the institutions are symbols of Indian democracy and draw their authority from the Constitution of India. Their authority and stature should always be safeguarded,” said Sasmit Patra, BJD’s national spokesperson, in a statement on Wednesday.

Also Read: Odisha’s BJD To Attend New Parliament Building Inauguration; Calls Event A ‘Momentous Occasion’

The BJD has so far been play footsie with non-BJP parties interested to cobble an anti-NDA coalition. After two back-to-back meetings with his West Bengal and Bihar counterparts, he flew to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an apparent bid to rebuff speculation of being onboard Opposition Express.

While officially claiming to have maintained equidistance from both BJP and Congress, the ruling party of Odisha has so far skipped all meetings aimed at forging a Third Front and has instead been supporting the Narendra Modi dispensation at the Centre in almost all issues since 2019. The BJD had come to its rescue in passage of critical bills and in election of President and Vice President.

The NDA is also hopeful of making up the number deficit in Rajya Sabha with the support of BJD and YSR Congress amid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s call to the opposition parties to defeat the ordinance to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority in the Upper House.

Also Read: Delhi Dangal: Will BJD Bail Out Modi Govt In Rajya Sabha?

Notably, the YSRCP will also be attending the inaugural ceremony.

The 19 parties boycotting the inauguration are — Congress, DMK, AAP, TMC, Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party (SP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Kerala Congress (Mani), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), JD(U), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), National Conference (NC), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also decided to skip the Niti Aayog meeting.

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