Naveen advises PM to stop dreaming to rule Odisha for a decade to come, Modi vows to uproot BJD

  • | Wednesday | 15th May, 2024

BY-DN Singh

Electioneering in Odisha has been hitting up as never before in 2024.

From the climate of a long bonhomie now to a protracted contest between the Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi have nearly demolished the last vestige of any purported truce.

Both the sides have adopted a very combative posture attacking each other. The PM continues with his claim to  form a ‘double engine’ government in Odisha for the first time.

While, on the other side, Naveen Patnaik has not done away with his cool and decency in his attacks on the BJP but he has expressed deep anguish at the intolerance shown by the BJP at his performances aimed at people’s welfare.

Whereas, Modi has gone hammer & tongue to attack the Biju Janata Dal(BJD) for its dismal performance in each aspect and alleged that the dispensation under Naveen Patnaik has become an inept and corrupt government run by a handful of bureaucrats those who are mired in corruption.

“Even before the polls started, let alone the results are out, Modi has announced a swearing-in date for the BJP government in Odisha and such a claim coming from a Prime Minister of a country is simply unheard of. It does not match the stature of a PM” said Rabi Das, a senior journalist and political analyst of repute.

“This is nothing but a mind game by the PM when he has realised that his stock ,may be in the North is on the wane” quipped Das

The PM had announced June 10 as the date for the BJP chief minister’s swearing in and also invited the people of Odisha to witness that.

On the other hand, Odisha chief minister in his usual cool also followed suit to announce that BJD’s swearing in would take place on June 9.

“Such an announcement by the Odisha CM also sounds a bit surprising and quite in contrast to his kind of political demeanor during his last 24 years of rule ” noted Das.

It can be recalled that, during the entire campaign in the 2019 general election it was only Naveen Patnaik alone in a Bus waving at the waiting masses on the roads with a smile and hands folded asking for peoples’ blessing. No political hyperboles or vitriolic at the rivals yet Naveen’s BJD cruised back to power  with a brute majority in the Assembly.

This season things have changed and perceptibly Patnaik who has been managing with his health, has become more quiet and V K Pandian, an IAS turned BJD leader has taken over the baton and still Pandian remains ubiquitous as the main campaigner on Patnaik’s behalf.

But, on Sunday the Odisha CM through a viral video made a veiled attack on the CM asking him not to dream of ruling in Odisha for ten years to come from now.

Lending his wisdom in hind-sight Patnaik reminded Modi how he has miserably failed to fulfill his earlier promises made to the people of India and Odisha in 2014 and in 2019.

Be it reduction of the prices of diesel, petrol and the LPG, or creation of jobs for two crore youths every year or do away with the GST the CM advised the Prime Minister to walk down his memory lane and realise the omissions.

Pandian in his campaigns has been very frontal in his attack on the BJP even dismissing the claims  of Modi to set up a ‘double engine’ regime by the BJP as utopian. He rather made a mocking dismissal of the double engine concept and said that, in Odisha it will be only ‘Naveen Engine’ that will prevail.

He also fired many salvos at the Centre for its peoples’ welfare schemes which are in comparison to the ones by Naveen Patnaik initiated welfare schemes, are far behind. He listed out many schemes launched by the Odisha government that are way ahead of the central schemes.

Right from Madhu Babu Pension schemes for the old, women and infirm the state scheme is much more beneficial with an allocation of Rs.1000 whereas the central government’s allocation is around Rs.300.

Similarly the former IAS made a scathing attack on the health scheme Ayushman Yojna in which Odisha’s share is  Rs 300 crore while Naveen’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan  Yojna grants Rs.6000 cr for Odisha.

Pandian was explosive in his attacks while he went to the extent of challenging the BJP that if the latter forms government in Odisha, he will quit politics once for all.

In his road shows on Thursday in Bhubaneswar the Prime Minister appeared combative as never before to attack the state chief minister for ‘out sourcing the administration ‘ to a handful of bureaucrats who are mired in deep corruption and a self-serving attitude.

Although it sounds surprising, the PM being at the highest citadel of power of the country made a direct attack on VK Pandian for being a dream-runner behaving like a super chief minister thus outflanking   the CM on several occasions.

What appeared clear that Modi is hell bent to see the Naveen dispensation out and install the double engine government in Odisha and bartered that if people of Odisha vote the BJP to power in Odisha Modi would stand guarantee to make Odisha the number 1 state in India.

“ That was viewed as a personal attack from the PM on Pandian obviously not behooving the stature of a PM of the country” rued Das.

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