Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, May 9:
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who had returned to Bhubaneswar on May 4, after a 12-day trip to Delhi, is leaving for the national capital once again today on a week-long non-official tour .
While this is an unofficial tour, Patnaik is likely to hold discussions with several leaders of national parties on the possible alliances in the post-poll scenario and also consult senior lawyers and legal experts on the illegal mining issue, which is sub-judice in the Supreme Court and awaits an interim order, said sources.
The Odisha government today received a major blow after the apex court ordered a CBI probe into the chit fund scam with clear instructions to look into the larger conspiracy angle. The BJD government surely does not want yet another CBI inquiry into the mining scam which by all accounts will lead to indictment of politicians, bureaucrats and even political parties .
The Forest Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice AK Patnaik, who retires on June 2, is likely to pronounce interim order during the summer vacation which starts from tomorrow and ends on June 29.
While there have been allegations of a clandestine nexus between the Congress high command and Naveen Patnaik over the last several years, the recent approbation from senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh rating Naveen Patnaik ahead of Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee in the ‘secularism stakes’, has set off speculations about the BJD chief figuring prominently in the Congress’s post-poll calculations.
Talking to a national news channel, Digvijaya has said his party found the Odisha chief minister’s commitment to secularism “impeccable”.
Digvijaya’s remarks have come at a time his party is trying to formulate its post-poll strategy following internal surveys that clearly indicate that the Congress and its allies are unlikely to emerge as the largest group in the Lok Sabha.
Since there is every possibility that Congress would extend support to proposed third front to restrict BJP’s prime ministerial candidate to adorn the PM throne, the party is toying the idea of choosing a secular figure for the top post.
Even if that does not work out, the truck with Congress may help Naveen Patnaik to form and run a stable government in Odisha , just in case the BJD fails to win by a comfortable majority or falls short of it.