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Orissa: Pawar shares platform with Naveen Patnaik

Source: PTI
April 08, 2009 18:15 IST
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After pulling out of a Biju Janata Dal-Left rally at the last minute, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday shared the platform with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and accused ruling BJD's erstwhile partner Bharatiya Janata Party of "trying to spread disharmony by using the government" in the state.

"Communal forces wanted to use the state government to pursue their nefarious designs in Orissa which was known for peace and harmony," Pawar said, addressing election meetings at Chandikhole, Languleswar and Bhandaripokhari in Orissa along with Patnaik, the BJD supremo.

Pawar skipped a Third front rally last week in Bhubaneswar where the Left and the BJD were present after apparently coming under pressure from the Congress though he cited an aircraft technical snag as the reason.

"BJP wanted to take the state in a wrong direction, but Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took a bold step to maintain peace and harmony," he said, apparently referring to the BJD chief's decision to sever the 11-year-long alliance with BJP.

The Maratha strongman described Naveen's decision to snap ties with BJP as a "right step taken at the right time".

The Union agriculture minister said he was contemplating an understanding with BJD in Orissa and it could happen after the regional outfit broke the alliance with the saffron party.

Claiming that the popularity and influence of the United Progressive Alliance and the Nationalist Democratic Alliance had declined substantially, Patnaik said new equations are likely to emerge after the elections with regional parties playing major roles.

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