Discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi centered around development projects in Odisha and it had nothing to do with politics, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Talking to media persons at Delhi after meeting the PM on Thursday , the Chief Minister said several projects and demands of the state like the proposed new international airport at Puri were discussed.
The fact that the CM flew to Delhi a day after he had met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here had triggered speculations over talks relating to an anti-BJP front.
The BJD will fight the 2024elections on its own as has been the policy over the last three general elections, said Chief Minister Patnaik while responding to questions.
Answering queries about the possibility of joining any front being formed by non BJP parties, the Chief Minister said “ No, as far as I am concerned. Not now”.
It may be noted here that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had also met Patnaik earlier and more recently the Bihar CM had called on him at Bhubaneswar.
Evidently, CM Patnaik had told both Miss Banerjee and Nitish Kumar that he would stick to his stand of maintaining equidistance from both the BJP and Congress, though for all practical purposes the BJD has been supporting the BJP-led NDA government at the centre.
Elaborating on his meeting with the PM today, Patnaik said since the traffic at Bhubaneswar Airport is increasing we want an International airport to come up at Puri.
The Prime Minister said that he will definitely help in every way possible, he said.
The CM said he apprised the PM about the Shree Jagannath International Airport project and that the boundary of the site has already been marked.
The site clearance for the airport is pending with the Ministry of Civil Aviation since Sept 2022.
It is learnt that the CM also requested for extension of the Udyami scheme , five free connections to panchayats for Bharat Net Phase II, expeditious completion of eight National Highway projects, more banks in unbanked panchayats etc.