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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Patnaik hits out at BJP's Kendrapara nominee Jay Panda at poll rally

Breaking his usual stance of avoiding personal attacks, Patnaik aimed his criticism at Panda without explicitly naming him at an election rally where he endorsed BJD candidate Anshuman Mohanty.
Last Updated : 27 May 2024, 17:05 IST
Last Updated : 27 May 2024, 17:05 IST

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched a scathing attack on BJP’s national vice-president Baijayant (Jay) Panda, accusing the two-time MP of betrayal towards both himself and the people of Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency.

Breaking his usual stance of avoiding personal attacks, Patnaik aimed his criticism at Panda without explicitly naming him at an election rally where he endorsed BJD candidate Anshuman Mohanty.

"I made someone (Panda) the MP from Kendrapada for 10 years. However, he worked only for his own prosperity and the profit of his company (mining) without doing anything for the people," the BJD president said while addressing an election meeting in the Lok Sabha constituency.

Panda was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara in 2009 and 2014 under the BJD banner before their split. He contested from the same seat for the third time on a BJP ticket in 2019, but lost the polls by a margin of over 1.5 lakh votes to BJD's nominee and cinestar Anubhav Mohanty.

Patnaik highlighted Panda's alleged neglect of the constituency during his tenure, portraying it as a betrayal of trust.

"The people of Kendrapada gave him the responsibility of the area for 10 years. He did nothing for the constituency and worked for himself. He betrayed me as well as the people," the Chief Minister said.

Appealing to the electorate of Kendrapara, traditionally the stronghold of his late father Biju Patnaik, the Odisha CM urged support for BJD candidates in both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Kendrapara holds sentimental value for the BJD, being termed Biju Babu's 'Karmabhoomi' (workplace), with the party clinching victory in the Lok Sabha seat consecutively from 1998 to 2019, alongside sweeping all seven assembly segments in 2019.

Responding to Patnaik's accusations, Panda, an industrialist-turned-politician, dismissed them as desperate tactics, insinuating external influence on the Chief Minister's statements.

"I've heard about the CM's allegations. I don't hold him accountable, as it seems he's being fed these allegations by someone else, colloquially referred to as 'Tamil Babu,' who seems to be prompting him while holding the microphone," Panda said.

Senior BJD leader VK Pandian echoed Patnaik's sentiments, accusing Panda of prioritising personal interests over public welfare during his tenure.

Sharpening his attack on Panda, the bureaucrat-turned-politician said, "He (Panda) worked for his company after becoming an MP instead of working for the people. He made a railway shedding for his company instead of a rail line for the people of Kendrapara." "As a member of Parliament’s finance committee, he waived his company’s loan. He wanted to become chairman of the finance committee, but the CM rejected the proposal," Pandian said.

During the day, Patnaik also addressed election rallies in Jagatsinghpur and Rahama, and accused the opposition parties, particularly the BJP, of spreading lies about Odisha and his government.

"The opposition parties are spreading lies about the government and shedding crocodile tears for the people of Odisha. They have no concern for the people of the state. They are only trying to mislead them in their desperate bid to get votes," Patnaik said.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Will it be Narendra Modi's 'Viksit Bharat' or Rahul Gandhi's I.N.D.I.A.? As the world's largest democracy votes to choose its future, track live news, in-depth opinions, and analyses only on Deccan Herald.

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Published 27 May 2024, 17:05 IST

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