New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik has slammed Narendra Modi by describing him as a "controversial" prime ministerial candidate who is not "healthy" for the country due to his communal background.
He also said his party would maintain an "equidistance" both from Congress and BJP even after the elections and it would not take a call on a Third Front till the results are out.
Dismissing the suggestion that there was a "Modi wave" in Odisha, Patnaik said the "good programmes" implemented by his government would pay results during this elections.
Asked about his views on Modi, who is BJP`s prime ministerial candidate, Patnaik said "he is a controversial candidate and communal shed remains which is not healthy for the country".
When asked whether BJD would align with NDA if it comes to power under Modi`s leadership, Patnaik said, "Not at all".
"We will remain equidistant from both BJP and Congress... I am very clear about our policy to remain far away from those two parties," he told Rajya Sabha Television in an interview.
Patnaik`s assertion comes against the backdrop of various opinion polls suggesting that BJD will come back to power in Odisha for a fourth term, where Lok Sabha and Assembly polls are being held simultaneously.
The chief minister is banking on the popular schemes such as the Re 1 per kg rice and the praise it received for the timely evacuation of people before the super cyclone that hit Odisha last September.
The BJD holds 103 of 147 Assembly seats, and 14 of the 21 parliamentary seats in the state.
To a pointed question on whether they could afford to maintain that antagonistic relationship with NDA if it comes to power, Patnaik said "Absolutely, We have done so for the last 10 years from the central Govt. If that happens we will continue to do so".
He also ruled out the possibility of his state suffering due to its policy of maintaining an equidistant both from Congress and the BJP given that the state has been insisting on special category status for Odisha.