Bhubaneswar, May 17 (IANS) Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Vice President and Minister Surya Narayan Patro on Friday said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is fit to be the Prime Minister of the country.
"The people of India and Odisha want Naveen Patnaik to be the Prime Minister of India. In the past, there was a talk in favour of (former Chief Minister) Biju Patnaik to be the Prime Minister," Patro told media persons here.
The statement came just six days before the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23. With regional parties coming together to play a crucial role in the next government formation, the BJD hopes to gain if no national party gets a majority.
The BJD Vice President, however, said that Naveen Patnaik should not be the Prime Minister with the support of the Congress.
The grand old party's history says it has pulled out support prematurely after making Prime Ministers in the past, he added.
He also said BJD will no longer adopt the equi-distance policy and it will extend support to whoever works for Odisha's interest.
Notably, Naveen Patnaik had earlier stated that his party would play a key role in the formation of next government at the Centre as no national party would get the majority in the Lok Sabha elections.
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are trying to form the government with the support of regional parties. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised Naveen Patnaik for rescue and relief operations in cyclone Fani affected areas in the state.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has sent letters to non-NDA parties including BJD for a meeting on May 23, the day results of the Lok Sabha elections are to be announced.