Patnaik claps back at Modi, says PM forgot promises made in 2014 and 2019

'How much you have remembered Odisha?' CM asks Modi

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said BJP won’t be able to win Odisha’s people’s heart even within next 10 years | PTI

Pooh-poohing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s repeated thrust that the first BJP government of Odisha will take oath on June 10, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said “forget about June 10th next, BJP won’t be able to win Odisha’s people’s heart even within next 10 years.” The state is heading to the first phase of its simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections on May 13.

The somewhat reticent and quiet Biju Janata Dal supremo perhaps had to react during hot election climate after PM Modi’s repeated tirade against BJD and more so direct attack on him on Saturday during election campaign in the state's western districts. Modi had remarked that despite long tenure, Patnaik cannot name all the districts of state without seeing a paper.

In response to the Modi, Patnaik, in a video message, said, “What I have remembered or not is known to people of Odisha for the last 24 years. But Hon’ble Prime Minister! How much you have remembered Odisha? Even after Odia became a classical language, you have forgotten it. You have forgotten about Odishi music. I have proposed twice to give classical status to Odishi, but you have rejected it both the times.”

Speaking about Modi referring to Odia people's contributions, Patnaik asked if no one from the state seemed suitable to get Bharat Ratna. “While distributing Bharat Ratna, you forgot Odisha’s great son Biju Patnaik,” said the CM, referring to his late father. Since the death of Biju Patnaik, there has been continuous demand in the state to confer the country's highest civilian award to the late leader.

Continuing the attack on the PM, Patnaik said, “You had promised to double MSP for farmers but forgot the same. You should have built the coastal highway, remembering the people of the state. But you forgot that. Coal is Odisha’s resource. You are taking it. You have forgotten to increase its royalty during the last 10 years.”

Patnaik said Modi should not just remember Odisha during the elections. “Have you kept your promises made during 2014 and 2019 elections?” asked the CM, adding that people of Odisha will remember Modi's unfulfilled promises to control of price rise, jobs to two crore youth, reduction of LPG, petrol and diesel price, giving mobile connections, waiver of GST etc.

Referring to Lord Jagannath, the BJD supremo said, “With Mahaprabhu’s blessings and love of people of Odisha, BJD will form government for the sixth time.”

The CM's remarks came after V.K. Pandian, an IAS offier-turned-BJD leader, on Saturday slammed the criticism of Prime Minister in BJD election meetings in Sundergarh district. He said BJP had come to power at the Centre by giving false promises in 2014 and 2019. BJP had promised to reduce LPG, petrol and diesel prices. Instead price rise is going on along with more talks by BJP.

He said senior BJP leaders are coming to Odisha to campaign against CM Patnaik but the 4.5 crore people of Odisha are his strength. So no one is believing the tourists visiting Odisha. Pandian said on June 9, Patnaik will take oath as chief minister again between 11.30 and 1 pm and in the evening BJD’s election manifesto will be approved in the meeting of the council of ministers. From July, people won’t have to pay electricity bill in the state.

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