BJD will never tie up with BJP: Naveen Patnaik

April 9th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Ruling out any post-poll tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Orissa Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Naveen Patnaik has said the communal violence in Kandhamal last year was “the last straw” that broke their 11-year alliance.
Patnaik also underlined that he will neither back the Congress nor a BJP-led government at the centre and indicated that he was open to the possibilities of joining the Third Front.

“My relationship with the BJP is over for good. There is no turning back now,” Patnaik told CNN-IBN in an interview.

“The fact is the BJP made unreasonable demands during the seat sharing talks. It was simply not possible to accommodate their demands,” Patnaik replied when asked about the BJP’s contention that he had “betrayed” that party,

Patnaik described the communal violence in Kandhamal district in September last year, in which at least 43 people were killed, hundreds of houses were burnt and churches damaged in the aftermath of the murder of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader on Aug 23, 2008, as the last straw that led to the final parting of ways with the BJP in March this year.

“I have had a peaceful nine-year tenure, but you know how serious and horrible the Kandhamal violence was. That was the last straw which effectively ended the alliance.”

“My government is determined to act against all those responsible for the violence. I am committed to giving Orissa a strong and a secular government,” he replied when asked whether he accepted responsibility for the Kandhamal violence.

Patnaik also indicated he would align with the Third Front after the elections, and stressed that his party’s top priority was to win the maximum number of seats in the forthcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

“Let me assure you on behalf of my party, we will not back Congress or BJP-led government at the centre. We hope to do very well in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections and we will use our strength in Orissa to strengthen the centre,” he said.

“Mr Pawar is our esteemed ally in Orissa. We are all fighting this election together to strengthen the non-Congress, non-BJP parties,” he said when asked whether he would support Nationalist Congress Party chief and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar as a prime ministerial candidate.

“Who will be prime minister and other questions will only be answered after May 16. Lets wait till then. May 16 will offer a solution,” he said.

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