Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday embarked on a week-long visit to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 11 amid speculation that the Government may offer the Lok Sabha’s Deputy Speaker’s post to Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
“I will meet PM Narendra Modi on June 11 and discuss about the loss incurred by Odisha due to cyclone Fani. Later, on June 15, I will attend NITI Aayog’s Governing Council meeting. There will be a courtesy meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind as well,” said Patnaik after reaching New Delhi.
This apart, Patnaik will present several crucial demands pertaining to the interest of Odisha before the Prime Minister, including Odisha’s participation in Ayushman Bharat, the sources said.
All the BJD Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs will accompany the Chief Minister during the visit to the Prime Minister, the sources added. Patnaik’s proposed meeting with PM assumes significance amid the speculation that the BJP may offer Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker’s post to BJD and Shiv Sena’s demand for the post of Deputy Speaker in the new Lok Sabha.
Notably, BJD has won 12 Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections while BJP managed to bag eight and Congress one.
Patnaik is scheduled to return to the State on June 15. After being sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Odisha for the fifth consecutive time, it will Patnaik’s first meeting with PM Modi.
Notably, Patnaik, who happens to be the BJD president also, had met the Prime Minister along with his Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs after the 2014 elections.