Bhubaneswar, July 16 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his advisor-turned-foe Pyari Mohan Mohapatra on Thursday shared the dais — three years after the hiatus.
The two leaders met in Khurdha district during the Khurdha-Begunia rail line inauguration by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
However, neither did they make an eye contact nor exchange any greetings and courtesies, sources said.
Patnaik, who is the Biju Janata Dal chief, expelled Rajya Sabha member Mohapatra from the party after he allegedly attempted to dethrone Patnaik in 2012 while the chief minister was in London.
On the occasion, Prabhu said the ministry would provide all possible assistance to the state to ensure better railway facilities.
He said the railway ministry has allocated over Rs.3,400 crore to the state in the current budget, which was the highest allocation to Odisha by any central government.
Prabhu also announced the setting up of a special skill development centre under the Skill India mission at Begunia.
With Odisha celebrating the Nabakalebar festival of Lord Jagannath temple, Prabhu said 216 special trains would be run to the temple city of Puri.