Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 29:
After a week-long speculation pertaining to third front and BJD joining it in the aftermath of Akhilesh Yadav’s meeting with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, it was the end of it today as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister poured cold water on any such development.
While all eyes were on the young Chief Minister and the newsmen were hungry to fetch some information about the much talked about third front, Akhilesh diplomatically denied any talks on it and termed the meeting with Naveen ‘a courtesy call’ after calling on him at State Secretariat in Bhubaneswar today.
“I understand that you are keen on learning something else. It would not be fair to come to Odisha and not pay a visit to Puri to pay obeisance to the Lord. Similarly, it would be unfair to not meet the Chief Minister when I come to Bhubaneswar to attend a programme. The Odisha chief minister should also pay his visit to Lucknow,” said Yadav addressing a joint press conference with Patnaik after the meeting.
Third front politics apart, Akhilesh didn’t disappoint the newsmen gathered there to question him on a rather tough day when he fired eight of his cabinet ministers.
“Some people have worked very well while remaining with the government and there are others who are also willing to work even better. We should talk about good things now,” said Akhilesh addressing the second most important question of the day – the firing of cabinet colleagues.
“I had the opportunity to interact with a mature and popular leader and learn a great deal from him. I had the first-hand information about a number of ongoing welfare schemes in Odisha. I was briefed about the Mamata Yojana, a pension scheme, housing scheme for the poor and other health schemes,” he added heaping praise on the much senior Naveen.
Describing the meeting between the duo, Naveen managed to finish the description in the shortest possible form, as he always does.
“We had a discussion about matters of mutual interests and projects that are doing well in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, like the insurance policy, the Expressway from Lucknow to Agra and the work we have done on Metro. I gave him some literatures on Mamta scheme etc,” said the Odisha Chief Minister in the joint address while successfully evading direct questions from journalists.