Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said his party – the Biju Janata Dal – would not be a part of the mahagathbandhan, or the grand alliance of Opposition parties that aims to fight the Lok Sabha elections against the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reported.
“We will continue with our policy of equidistance from the BJP and the Congress,” Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar. “I want to clarify that as far as the mahagathbandhan is concerned, the Biju Janata Dal is not a part of it.”
On Tuesday, however, Patnaik had sought more time to decide on joining the alliance.
Patnaik’s statement came a day after Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu met several Opposition leaders in New Delhi and held discussions about creating an anti-BJP front.
Among the leaders Naidu met were Congress President Rahul Gandhi, National Conference Chairperson Farooq Abdullah, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Naidu’s latest visit to Delhi came a few days after the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party announced an alliance in Uttar Pradesh.