**Bhubaneswar: ** The unexpected meeting between BJD supremo-cum-Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and senior Congress leader-cum-Odisha Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra at Naveen Patnaik’s New Delhi-based residence on Thursday morning has let tongues wagging and political speculations on here at the State capital city.
Prior to the special function of World Hockey Cup at the national capital on the day, Narasingha, well-known to be a die-hard critic of Naveen, astoundingly called on the Odisha Chief Minister at the latter’s residence located at Dr Abdul Kalam Marg in the national capital city.
At the special function, the Odisha Leader of Opposition was seen seated beside the Chief Minister.
Political analyst and senior journalist Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra commented, “Going by the current condition of Congress party, especially in Odisha, no change in PCC despite repeated demands made by the party’s legislature party. Under such a scenario, the Leader of Opposition, who is the Congress legislature party’s chief, feels left in the lurch, high and dry. His meeting with Naveen Babu in New Delhi vividly hints at a future political equation.”
BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty uttered, “We have been reiterating that Congress is the crutch stick of Naveen Babu. This meeting is nothing new and strange. As had been the path trodden by Bhupinder Singh (former senior Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition prior to 2014 assembly polls), he (incumbent Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra) may follow the suit. No doubt in it.”
However, another political analyst and senior journalist Dillip Bisoi viewed, “Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra was seen at the World Hockey Cup function. It evinces that the Chief Minister preferred to seek cooperation of the opposition as Odisha is going to host a mega intenational event. All the MPs from Odisha and MLAs were also invited. Special media personalities were also invited.”
“Thus the meeting between Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hints at nothing political,” Bisoi remarked.
BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb also countered, “I don’t think the meeting would have experienced any significant political talks. All were invited to the function. It is well-known that Odisha is making Hockey India a partner. Accordinlgy, the hon’ble Leader of Opposition was also duly invited. For courtesy sake, he graced the function. If at all he paid a courtesy visit, we shouldn’t deduce any political undertone in it.”
Amid such speculations and political gossips, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra in his reactions consequently stated, “I had been formally invited to the State Government’s function. The ruling party had earlier sought cooperation from the opposition for this international event. Had I refused, what message it would have sent among the general public? Will a simple courtesy call materialize political deal? Yesterday I had a personal meeting with Sharad Yadav for an hour. So, stop speculating on my meeting.”