Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik expressed his willingness over stitching a post-poll alliance with any political party that is ready to support the demands and is willing to work towards the welfare and development of the state.
While responding to a question asked by a new agency over the possibility of extending support to the BJP in case they fall short of the requisite majority to form the government, he said, "Any party or coalition that supports the development and just claims of Odisha will have our support."
Patnaik reiterated that the key focus would be whether the said party would back the development of Odisha and the welfare of its people when he was asked whether the ideology of the party seeking support from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) would be a deciding factor on a post-poll tie-up.
"Ideology of all parties is democratic but I do want them to support Odisha's claims," he said.
Asking the CM on BJP’s views on national security, external security, secularism, and whether the espousing Hindutva matter would crop up at the time of post-poll alliance talks, he responded saying, “Let's see what the results are, let's see which parties get what numbers.”
One of the longest-serving chief ministers of Odisha, Patnaik also revealed that he has no “national ambitions” while reaffirming his allegiance to the development of the state.
"My interest is to stay here (in Odisha) and see through the development and welfare of the state. I have no national ambitions," he said when asked why he chooses to distance himself from national politics.
He also stated that the reports on anti-incumbency were not true.
"In every election, our numbers are increasing, not decreasing," he said.
In the ongoing polls, Naveen Patnaik will contest from two seats in the state, namely Hinjili and Bijepur.
In the 2014 elections, Patnaik's BJD had won 117 out of the 147 assembly seats in the state, while the BJP and Congress settled for 10 and 16 seats, respectively.
(With ANI inputs)