Ahead of the crucial presidential election, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday.
Patnaik left for New Delhi on a three-day official trip on Monday morning. He is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister at his office at 4.30 p.m.
Though the agenda of the meeting has not been revealed by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), it is speculated that the two leaders are likely to discuss the presidential election along with some issues of Odisha pending with the Central government.
Chief Minister Patnaik will return to Odisha on Wednesday afternoon. As this is his third visit to the national capital in the last three months, political experts feel that something is cooking in between the BJD and BJP.
The election for President of India is due in July this year. So, all eyes are on the move of Patnaik, who alone can ensure smooth victory for the BJP-led NDA candidate.
Currently, opposition parties collectively have 51.1 per cent share of the Electoral College while the BJP and its alliance partners have 48.9 per cent. The NDA needs only 1.2 per cent to cross the halfway mark.
With 21 MPs (12 in Lok Sabha & nine in Rajya Sabha) and 113 MLAs in Odisha Assembly, the BJD has 3.22 per cent of votes in its kitty. So, the BJD is going to play a crucial role during the presidential election.
The BJD is yet to disclose its stand for the election for top position of India. Patnaik had stated that it will take a decision looking into the profile of the candidates for the election.
Notably, the BJD had supported non UPA candidates for the presidential poll during the last two elections held in 2017 and 2012. In September 2020, Naveen had supported NDA candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh in the election for the post of deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha.