BHUBANESWAR: Rejecting any possibility of reviving electoral ties with the BJP, Odisha chief minister and ruling BJD president Naveen Patnaik on Friday said he was not “comfortable” with the idea of Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister of the country.
“I am not comfortable with the idea of Modi,” Times of India quoted Patnaik saying while participating at an interaction programme.
Disagreeing with the idea that the next polls will turn into an presidential form of election between Modi and Rahul Gandhi, Patnaik said that both of them do not have pulling power. “The next elections will be fought on the basis of ideologies rather than personalities.”
Patnaik, however, praised A B Vajpayee as the fine Prime Minister of India. When asked whether he would have supported BJP under Vajpayee, he said, “I do not have such vivid imagination.”
Earlier, after Modi being named as the chairman of the BJP’s national election campaign committees, Patnaik had said that both Modi and Rahul Gandi lacked pan-India acceptance.
Patnaik’s statement on Modi virtually rejected senior Congress leader and Union minister Srikant Jena who last week alleged that the BJD president harboured secret understanding with his Gujarat counterpart.
Patnaik, who earlier in the day claimed that his party was equidistant from both the Congress and BJP, said that he would rather prefer a third front as it is “healthy” for the democracy.
Replying to a question, the chief minister also made it clear that he would prefer to stay back in Odisha while rejecting the idea of performing a big role at the Centre.
Asked whether his party would play a vital role in the formation of government at the centre after 2014 elections, Patnaik said: “Let the numbers come and results of 2014 elections come out.”