The Biju Janata Dal government in Odisha on Monday praised the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for its support to tackle cyclone Fani that killed at least 64 people and rendered over five lakh families homeless.
The ruling BJD, which all along during campaigning for the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls accused the BJP of "ignoring" the interest of Odisha, was now all praise for the Central government.
"At the outset. I would like to thank the Union Government for the support rendered to the state of Odisha to effectively manage the extremely severe cyclone Fani and its aftermath," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendrea Modi while seeking five lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for the cyclone-hit state.
The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) also thanked Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for sanctioning 1,000 kilolitre of kerosene for distribution among the cyclone affected people.
Pradhan made the sanction a day after Patnaik wrote a letter to him seeking sanction of 1,000 kl of kerosene for the cyclone affected people.
"Thank Union Minister Sri@dpradhanbjp for considering our request to provide 1,000 kl of kerosene oil free of cost to #CycloneFani ravaged #Odisha. It would help meet the immediate demand of kerosene oil for lighting purpose," the CMO Odisha said in its twitter post.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Odisha on May 6, had also openly showered praise on Patnaik and said: "Naveen Babu has done a good job in evacuating people to safe place."
The prime minister, soon after conducting an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas, immediately sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore as interim assistance, over and above Rs 341 crore granted by the Centre ahead of the disaster, as demanded by the state government.
The change of heart in the BJD and the BJP, considered as arch rivals for more than a decade, ahead of the counting of votes and declaration of poll results has sparked speculations in the political circle in the state.
Much before the poll process started for the 2019 elections, Patnaik has been claiming that no national party will be able to form the government at the Centre on its own. Therefore, the regional parties like BJD will have a major role to play in the government formation in the Centre.
Patnaik also during the election campaign had appealed to the people of Odisha to vote for the BJD candidates in the Lok Sabha election so that the state's interest could be properly protected.
After first phase of polling, Patnaik had given enough indication that he is ready to abandon BJD's policy of maintaining equal distance from both Congress and BJP, surprising many in the political circle.
The BJD supremo went one step ahead and made it clear that his party would support any political front which commits to protect the interest of Odisha. He had announced that BJD's option was now wide open which could go in favour of any party, including BJP and Congress.
Under the changed political scenario in the aftermath of cyclone Fani, political analysts feel that both the BJD and BJP are coming closer ahead of the counting of votes and their stance would play a significant role in the formation of next government at the Centre.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)