Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has made it clear that he will never tie up with the BJP again at any stage.
In an interview to CNN IBN, his first television interview since the break-up with the BJP, Patnaik said, "My relationship with the BJP is over for good. There is no turning back now."
Asked to respond to the BJP charge that he had 'betrayed' the saffron party, Patnaik said, "The fact is the BJP made unreasonable demands during the seat-sharing talks. It was simply not possible to accommodate their demands."
Patnaik described the Kandhamal violence as the 'last straw'. "I have had a peaceful nine-year tenure, but you know how serious and horrible the Kandhamal violence was, that was the last straw which effectively ended the alliance" he said.
Patnaik also indicated he would align with the Third Front after the elections. "Let me assure you on behalf of my party, we will not back Congress or BJP-led government at the centre. We hope to do very well in the assembly and lok sabha elections and we will use our strength in orissa to strengthen the centre" he said.
On the issue of whether he would support Sharad Pawar as a prime minister candidate, Patnaik said," Pawar is our esteemed ally in Orissa. We are all fighting this election together to strengthen the non-Congress, non-BJP parties. Who will be prime minister and other questions will only be answered after May 16. Let us wait till then. May 16 will offer a solution," referring to the date of counting of votes.
On whether he accepted responsibility for the Kandhamal violence, Patnaik said, "My government is determined to act against all those responsible for the violence. I am committed to giving Orissa a strong and a secular government."