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'No more support to BJP': Patnaik asks BJD Rajya Sabha MPs to emerge as strong opposition

Maintaining that the nine MPs in Rajya Sabha will act as a strong opposition, Sasmit Patra, the party's leader in Rajya Sabha, said Patnaik has given clear instructions to fight for the rights of the state's people in the Parliament.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 09:38 IST

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New Delhi: Naveen Patnaik-led BJD will be a “strong and vibrant Opposition” in the Parliament, a decision that is seen as recalibration of its past strategy of supporting the BJP-led government without formally joining the ruling NDA coalition.

The decision was announced by Patnaik at a BJD Parliamentary Party meeting in Bhubaneswar on Monday. BJD was routed in the Lok Sabha elections where it could not win a single seat while losing the Assembly polls to the BJP after being in power for 24 years.

Announcing the decision, BJD Rajya Sabha floor leader Sasmit Patra posted on ‘X’, “he advised all the party MPs to be a strong and vibrant opposition in the Parliament and be the voice of 4.5 crore people of Odisha there, raising issues relating to Odisha’s interests, development and progress.”

While BJD has no MPs in Lok Sabha, it has nine MPs in Rajya Sabha. BJD is among a clutch of regional parties like YSR Congress, BSP and AIADMK, which did not join either NDA or I.N.D.I.A. bloc and fared badly in the recently concluded General Elections.

“Khela Hobe (Game is on) in Rajya Sabha,” Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien posted on ‘X’. Trinamool sources said it will get in touch with BJD for floor coordination though BJD sources said it would not go in for any formal exercise of coordination.

The Opposition I.N.D.I.A. has 86 MPs and with BJD joining, it will come to 94. YSR Congress has four and BSP has one MPs.

BJD sources said Naveen’s message was clear that there “should be no ambivalence” in their stand in Parliament. They said they will remain “equidistant” from both NDA and the I.N.D.I.A. blocs but will ensure that the interests of the nation and Odisha are protected.

With the BJD not keen to be seen with the Congress, Trinamool sources said some parties do not feel comfortable in coordinating with the Congress and it could fill in those gaps while Congress could do the job with its electoral allies.

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Published 24 June 2024, 09:38 IST

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