Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said he was open to “constructive cooperation” with the Centre for the state’s development, but added that he would like to maintain distance from the Bharatiya Janata Party as well as the Congress.
“I believe in constructive cooperation from the central government for any development and welfare schemes for Odisha,” Patnaik told NDTV. “I want to work in cooperation with them for the development of the state. We always need the support of the Centre.”
On Thursday, Patnaik was re-elected to office for the fifth term, making him the longest-serving chief minister of Odisha. His Biju Janata Dal won 112 of 146 seats.
However, the BJP made inroads in the state, winning eight Lok Sabha seats while Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dala bagged 12. In the Assembly elections, the BJP won 23 seats, up from 10 seats in the last state election.
Both Patnaik and Modi congratulated each other after results were announced on Thursday. Modi sent out a tweet congratulating Patnaik on BJD’s outstanding performance in the Assembly polls. “Congratulations to Naveen Babu for yet another victory in Odisha,” he tweeted. “Wishing him the very best for the next term.” Patnaik reciprocated with a phone call to Modi. He then tweeted a congratulatory message to the prime minister. “Look forward to working together for the people of Odisha,” he wrote.