Bhubaneswar: After remaining equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday said it was open to supporting any combination at the Centre. (Catch Complete Coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Here)

Talking to the media, BJD’s Amar Patnaik said, “We would probably support some party or some kind of combination, whoever forms the govt at the Centre and agrees to settle some of the unsettled and long pending issues of Odisha.”

The volte-face could also be attributed to the exit poll results which came out just a day ago. While the Assembly seems to go the BJD way again, for the fifth time, the BJP seemed set to win more Lok Sabha seats than the former.

Ever since it severed alliance with BJP before the 2009 general election, the BJD had been claiming to be maintaining equidistance from both the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UPA.

However, only last month, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said, “Whichever government supports the just demand of Odisha, we will support that coalition. Whether it is UPA, NDA or anyone.”

While snapping his party’s ties with the BJP in 2009, Patnaik had dubbed the BJP as “communal” and the Congress as “corrupt.”

But media had reported the BJD warming up to BJP after PM Modi appreciated the Odisha government’s efforts during Cyclone Fani onslaught and Patnaik had written a note to the former.

Exit poll surveys gave the BJP six-19 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state while the BJD seemed poised for two to 15.  BJD’s Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya was quoted by a daily as saying, “We should wait for the results. Such polls have gone wrong in the past. Our own assessment is that BJD will do well both in the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections.”