BHUBANESHWAR: Senior CPI(M) leader Janardan Pati on Tuesday claimed that the BJD would have to form an alliance with the BJP after elections, as the ruling party was unlikely to win an adequate number of seats to return to power in Odisha.
Senior leaders of the BJD, when approached for their reaction to the CPI(M) leader's assertion, refused to comment on the matter.
Pati, who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Bhubaneswar seat with support from the Congress, stated that the BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, during a recent election meeting at Nayagarh, had given indications about his party's possible tie-up with the BJP.
On Sunday, Patnaik said that the BJD will play a "decisive role" in the formation of the next government at the Centre, sparking speculations that the party was open to a post-poll alliance with a national party.
"This (Patnaik's statement) is sufficient to conclude that the BJD will provide support to BJP for government formation at the Centre.
In return, it will get the saffron party's help to return to power in Odisha," Pati said at a press meet here.
Maintaining that the CPI(M) had always insisted that the BJD-BJP clash in the state was just "an eyewash", Pati recalled that the two parties had formed a coalition government in Odisha from 2000 till 2009.
"This time, too, the BJP and the BJD will form an alliance after the polls," he said.
The veteran communist leader appealed the people to elect a secular and democratic government in the upcoming assembly election.
"I request the people of the state to reject both BJD and the BJP and elect a government, which would practise secularism and uphold democratic values," Pati said.
Assembly elections will be held in Odisha along with the Lok Sabha polls in the four phases between April 11 and 29.