Bhubaneswar: In a significant development for Odisha politics, former president Pranab Mukherjee, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury and a host of Opposition leaders are set to share stage at an event to release a pictorial biography of former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on January 27.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is currently faced with a resurgent BJP in the state. Naveen is also trying to counter the BJP's efforts to claim the legacy of his father Biju Patnaik.
The photo biography contributed by the Biju Patnaik Centenary Commitee encapsulates rare photographs of Biju Babu's life. A communique from Pranab Mukherjee's office has confirmed his attendance for the event. Sources said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will leave for Bengaluru on January 14 to invite Deve Gowda for the programme.
Meanwhile, the upcoming event has escalated into a political debate in the State. Talks are doing the rounds that the ruling BJD is trying to show off its authority using Biju Babu's charisma by inviting Opposition leaders in the Centre whereas Opposition parties in the State termed it as a strategy for the upcomming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.