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Naveen’s ‘equidistance’ claim opportunistic, says Niranjan

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Apr 8:

Former PCC Chief and Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik today took on Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik on his claim of remaining ‘equidistant’ from BJP and the Congress and said that the stand of the BJD supreme is an opportunistic political stunt and not any value-based ideological position.

Niranjan Patnaik, Former PCC president
Niranjan Patnaik, Former PCC president

Naveen Patnaik remained with the BJP, became a central Minister and even ran a coalition Government in the State till 2009. But once he realised that he did not need the BJP and to wash his hands off the worst communal carnage in Odisha history, i.e. the 2008 Kandhmal carnage, he dropped the BJP and joined hands with the Left, Patnaik said in a statement released here today.

In 2009, he needed the Left. So, he moved from right to left. No one should forget how he entered into a seat adjustment with the NCP thinking that neither the Congress nor the BJP will win the 2009 elections and that it was Sharad Pawar who would be in the best position to cobble together an alternative government, he said.

“The fact is he kept changing parties and friends, not based on any ideology, but political calculations and he wrecked whoever joined him,” the Congress leader said adding the BJP learnt it the hard way in 2009 and yet the Left Parties and the NCP joined him only to be destroyed in the state. But, that did not stop the JMM to announce seat adjustment with the BJD for 2014 only to find that the JMM had also been rendered ‘a kiss of death’. What is astonishing is that despite the fact that Naveen has been changing his friends and dumping them, people are joining him. How else can one explain leaders from different parties joining the BJD knowing full well that they will become insignificant courtiers once they join the BJD?” the former PCC chief asked.

Naveen’s pronouncements do not indicate any ideological position nor should they be taken seriously. One should be sure that Naveen will dump the ‘equidistant’ rhetoric to join the BJP once again now that Kandhmal riots are fading from public memory and of course Naveen can always find the assurance of special category status, timely revision of mining royalty and some other state-specific favours to cross the line back to the NDA fold. He is also waiting to see if he needs to use his ‘secular’ claim and be part of a third front. He will always be non-committal because he lacks any ideological commitment or conviction. He is opportunism personified, states Niranjan.

Niranjan has requested all right thinking people to reject Naveen Babu’s brand of opportunistic politics while voting during the elections.