New Delhi: Within 24 hours of saying that he wanted more time to think on the issue of joining the opposition parties against the BJP, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said the Biju Janata Dal will not be joining the mahagathbandhan.
"The BJD will not be part of the mahagathabandhan. The party will continue to remain equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress," said Patnaik.
The decision comes amid talks between various parties to form alliances before the crucial 2019 general election.
On Tuesday, at farmers' protest held by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Delhi for its demand to fix Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy at Rs 2,930 per quintal from the current Rs 1,750, Patnaik said "as far as mahagathbandhan is concerned , we will take some time and think it over".
Patnaik, while addressing farmers, came down heavily on the Modi government for failing to fulfil the promises made before the 2014 general elections.
The BJD has so far maintained its distance both from the BJP and the Congress.
TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, upon returning to power in Telangana, visited the Odisha CM in an effort build a federal front minus the BJP and the Congress.
The mahagathbandhan, on the other hand, is a proposed group of non-BJP parties aiming to dethrone the Narendra Modi-led government in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.