Naveen Patnaik's BJP was a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance till 2009.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will support BJP's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind. His announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with him over the phone this evening.
"The Prime Minister spoke to me about the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind as Presidential nominee. He sought the support of the BJD in this regard.
"As you all know, last time when the Presidential elections happened, BJD had proposed the name of PA Sangma, an eminent leader from the tribal community. Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination," said Mr Patnaik.
Against this backdrop and the fact that Mr Kovind is an eminent lawyer belonging to the Scheduled Caste community, after discussing with the senior party leaders, BJD had decided to support his candidature, he added.
He said the Office of the President of India is above political considerations and BJD wants to keep it above politics.
Earlier on Monday, Mr Patnaik said that his BJD will decide on Mr Kovind after discussion between senior party leaders.