New Delhi: As the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party battle it out over the coal scam and internal crisis, Third Front leaders are stepping up. Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told CNN-IBN that both Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi don't make the prime ministerial cut and that the Third Front's time has come.
"Let me make it quite clear that my party is equidistant from both the Congress and the BJP. I think a Third Front will be a very healthy alternative, but it's still early days to discuss that option," Patnaik said.
When asked about Modi's elevation, Patnaik said, "Well I am not enthusiastic about his elevation. But as far as party matters are concerned, that's an internal matter of the BJP." He also refused to comment on the LK Advani issue. "The recent events in the BJP, I repeat again are internal matter of that party. I wouldn't like to speculate further," Patnaik said.
"We will not be a part of the NDA," Patnaik stated. When asked if the BJD will be with Rahul Gandhi, Patnaik said, "Let me tell clearly we are equidistant from the Congress and the BJP. If you ask about Rahul Gandhi politically, his report has been pretty dismal both in Bihar and in Uttar Pradesh."
Commenting on Modi as PM candidate, Patnaik said, "I don't think the minorities will be very happy with this kind of elevation of him."
When asked if he sees himself as a PM candidate, Patnaik said, "No I don't see my self as a potential PM at all. Let's wait and see what happens in the election."