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Last Updated : Jan 10, 2019 10:56 PM IST | Source: PTI

BJD to fight LS polls on its own, rising fuel prices, agrarian distress to be major issues: Naveen Patnaik

Patnaik had made it clear that his party would not become a part of the 'mahagathbandhan', a grand alliance at the national level to oppose the BJP and the Modi government in the Lok Sabha polls this year.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the BJD would fight the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on its own and identified rising fuel prices, growing agrarian distress and unemployment as three major issues which will dominate the elections.

Soon after the poll results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the four-time Odisha chief minister had said that the Bharatiya Janata Party lost for ignoring farmers' plight and not implementing the M S Swaminathan Committee recommendation.

While participating in an interactive programme of India Today's Mind Rocks, 2019, Patnaik indicated that the same agrarian distress will play a key role in the upcoming elections in the country.

"Rising fuel prices, growing agrarian distress and unemployment are the three major issues to dominate the 2019 general elections," he said.

To a question, Patnaik said his regional party would fight the elections on its own.

Though the Biju Janata Dal was in alliance with the BJP and shared power with the saffron party in the state from 2000 to 2009, he reiterated the decision to maintain equidistance from both the national parties.

Patnaik had made it clear that his party would not become a part of the 'mahagathbandhan', a grand alliance at the national level to oppose the BJP and the Modi government in the Lok Sabha polls this year.

Keeping in mind the interest of the farmers, who form a sizeable chunk of the electorate, Patnaik, a fortnight ago, had launched the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme to address their problems.

The BJD government refused to join the Congress bandwagon and declare farm loan waiver and instead announced Rs 10,183 crore KALIA scheme to provide assistance to farmers.

Taking the BJD's demand for hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Delhi, Patnaik also led partymen at a sit-in in the national capital. The BJD has been slamming the Narendra Modi government for not keeping its promises made during the 2014 polls.

While replying to a question on his attempt to retain chief ministership for the fifth time in a row, Patnaik said: "We have consistently followed up on our development and welfare programmes. We make promises and keep them."

The assembly elections in Odisha are also due along with the Lok Sabha polls.
First Published on Jan 10, 2019 10:43 pm
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