Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 21:
Less than a week before the winter session of the Parliament begins, Biju Janata Dal Chief Naveen Patnaik today convened a meeting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs of the party at his residence to work out a strategy.
With its muscle of 20 MPs in Lok Sabha and Six (after Kalpataru’s demise) in Rajya Sabha, the party plans to highlight the drought condition in the state prominently along with other issues pertaining to the interests of the state.
‘I just had a meeting with the BJD MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to discuss various issues related to our state. We discussed the forthcoming Parliament session and important issues such as drought in Odisha and many others,” said Patnaik after the meeting that was attended by 19 Lok Sabha and 6 Rajya Sabha members of the party.
Answering questions from reporters on party’s stand in case of a debate on intolerance in Parliament, he reiterated BJD’s stance on secularism without directly answering if BJD would support such a debate.
“Our party is totally secular and against intolerance in any form,” said Patnaik.
“We have been consistently fighting for the people of Odisha and would continue to do so. We believe that the Central Government would provide whatever is demanded by the people. It doesn’t make a difference if it is (Narendra) Damodardas Modi or someone else. Whatever people of Odisha desire, they will get,” said Dhenkanal MP Tathagata Satapathy.
“Since the very beginning BJD has been taking a stand to defend the interests of Odisha. We have supported the causes that are favourable to the state and the nation and have opposed the caused that are against it. That very stand would continue. We will play the role of a constructive opposition,” said Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda.
Notably, the winter session of the Parliament is scheduled to begin on November 26.