Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Vice President and Minister Surya Narayan Patro on Friday said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is fit to be the Prime Minister of the country.
“The people of India and Odisha want Naveen Patnaik to be the Prime Minister of India. In the past, there was a talk in favour of (former Chief Minister) Biju Patnaik to be the Prime Minister,” Patro told media persons here.
The statement came just six days before the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23. With regional parties coming together to play a crucial role in the next government formation, the BJD hopes to gain if no national party gets a majority.
The BJD Vice President, however, said that Naveen Patnaik should not be the Prime Minister with the support of the Congress.
The grand old party’s history says it has pulled out support prematurely after making Prime Ministers in the past, he added.
He also said BJD will no longer adopt the equi-distance policy and it will extend support to whoever works for Odisha’s interest.
Notably, Naveen Patnaik had earlier stated that his party would play a key role in the formation of next government at the Centre as no national party would get the majority in the Lok Sabha elections.
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are trying to form the government with the support of regional parties. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised Naveen Patnaik for rescue and relief operations in cyclone Fani affected areas in the state.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has sent letters to non-NDA parties including BJD for a meeting on May 23, the day results of the Lok Sabha elections are to be announced.
In his media reactions, senior journalist and political analyst Dilip Bisoi said, “The seventh phase general election will end on May 19. From now onwards various speculations over the formation of government at the Centre are on. While BJP-led NDA claims to win over 300 seats and be in power once again, the opposition parties on the other hand predict a hung parliament and are exploring possibilities of an alternative government.”
“In this context, the Congress-led UPA wants how to gain support of the regional parties who are not with the UPA now and also with the NDA. If Congress stresses on Rahul Gandhi being the prime minister, the regional parties may not agree with this proposal. Hence, Congress is giving an offer to the regional parties to choose anyone from among them for the prime minister post. Congress has made it clear to the regional parties that it is not insisting that Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minster,” he stated.
He further stated, “The regional parties like BJD in Odisha or TMC in West Bengal or Jaggan Reddy’s party in Andhra Pradesh or Chandrababu Naidu’s party or TRS. There is possibility that these parties will win MPs in large number. Hence, Congress wants a non-BJP government at the Centre.”
“This is not a new experiment. Even in the past also government has been formed supported by Congress and Congress-led coalition government. Coalition government is never a new thing for Indian politics. A leader from the third party can also be a prime minister. Vajpayee had formed a government taking with him 22 parties and ruled for a full five-year tenure. Manmohan Singh’s government was also an alliance government. Same was the case with Narasimha Rao. They have ruled their full term successfully. That is why Congress is exploring if any leader of a regional party wishes to be the prime minister and need to be acceptable by other parties,” viewed the senior scribe.