Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik met with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, amid the push by the latter for a grand alliance to fight against the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting, Patnaik said, “Ours is a known friendship and we were colleagues many years ago. No discussion was held on any alliances today. Land in Puri is being given free of cost to the Bihar government to build a Bihar Bhawan there.”
Nitish Kumar, meanwhile, said that he had good relations with Biju Patnaik (Father of Naveen Patnaik) and there was no political intention in his meeting with Patnaik.
“Like Naveen Patnaik said we have old relations, also I had good relations with his father, there is so much mutual respect between us that we do not have to worry about politics. After the coronavirus happened I was unable to pay a visit to him here,” Nitish Kumar said.
As part of his ongoing efforts to cobble up a grand Opposition alliance against the BJP at the Centre ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will also visit Mumbai and hold meetings with senior Opposition leaders.
Nitish Kumar is scheduled to arrive in Mumbai on May 11 afternoon and head directly to Matoshree, the residence of Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray in Bandra, where he will hold talks with the former chief minister.
“He will meet Odisha chief Naveen Patnaik on May 9 and Uddhav Thackeray and Pawar Saheb (Sharad Pawar) on May 11. He is also likely to meet Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar soon for discussions on a united Opposition,” the JDU Maharashtra leader told ANI.
Nitish Kumar is also planning a big meeting of all Opposition Leaders in Delhi on May 18.
Sharad Pawar confirmed this meeting in a press conference during which he announced his decision to withdraw his resignation as NCP patron.
“Devesh Chandra Thakur and Kapil Patil met me to discuss the need for a united Opposition (against the BJP) and they passed me a message that Nitish Kumar is likely to host a meeting of Opposition leaders in Delhi on May 18 and I have been requested to attend it,” Pawar said.
This report is filed by ANI news service.