The CM had gone to the capital to receive an award of the best administrator and was heartily welcomed with showers of flower petals at the Biju Patnaik International airport on his return. While dedicating the award to the 4.5 crore people of Odisha, Patnaik expressed his gratitude to the people for their greetings and wishes on winning the award. The chief minister said he would continue his efforts to make Odisha the most advanced and developed state in the country.
Naveen also cleared that BJD does any have any plans to join the NDA. He said that the party will maintain equal distance from both BJP and Congress. The talks of BJD becoming a part of NDA were being anticipated after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar‘s move of joining the NDA. Like Nitish-led JD(U), BJP was also an ally of BJP till 2009, hence the possibility of the party joining back was being assumed.
There has been speculation about the possibility of early elections. Both Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections are due in 2019. Alarmed by the setback it suffered in the panchayat polls in February, the BJD has been launching a host of programmes to keep its organisation in shape to face future elections. According to a party source, it has also taken a number of steps to counter the BJP and check the saffron surge in the state.