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Naveen likely to skip secular meet


OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 27:

BJD president and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik will most likely skip a convention of secular parties in New Delhi, scheduled on October 30, due to the recent Cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods in Odisha.

The convention is the first ever initiative to present a political alternative to the Congress and BJP at the Centre in the forthcoming general elections next year.

Though Patnaik is yet to react on the development, his senior party colleagues have welcomed the move that is spearheaded by leaders of the Left and Lohia Socialist Bloc.

“It is a welcome political move as the BJD has been vocal about the need for a non-Congress and non-BJP conglomeration in the national level. The BJD would be happy to be part of the proposed convention at Delhi,” said senior BJD leader and Health minister Dr Damodar Rout said.

Dr Rout said the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik is one of the invitees and he could only take a final call on the issue.

However, considering the prevailing situation in Odisha, he is unlikely to make it and hence some other members may attend the meeting on his behalf, Rout added.

The convention has been called by the Left, JD (U) and Samajwadi Party.

AIADMK, JD (U), SP, BJD, JD(S), Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, Jharkhand Vikash Morcha, RPI and four Left parties have been invited to attend the convention.