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Odisha Assembly Elections 2024 | 'Your CM cannot tell name of all the 30 districts without help of a paper,': PM Modi attacks Naveen Patnaik

Noting that Lord Jagannath is the soul of Odia people, Modi said for the past six years, the keys to the inner chamber of the sacred Shri Ratna Bhandar in the Shri Jagannath Temple have been missing.
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 18:40 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 18:40 IST

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Bhubaneswar: Raising Odisha 'Ashmita' (pride) as a key poll issue in the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a veiled attack on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close aide V K Pandian alleging that the incumbent BJD government in the state is being run by a 'Super CM'.

While raising Odisha 'Ashmita' issue in all the three election meetings at Kandhamal, Bolangir and Bargarh Lok Sabha seats, Modi directly attacked the ruling BJD president Naveen Patnaik over his knowledge about the state.

"I am sure, your CM cannot tell name of all the 30 districts and their headquarters without help of a paper," Modi said, stating that he is forced to speak about it as the BJP has decided to save Odisha’s 'Ashmita'.

"Who is really running the show in the BJD government? There's a 'Super CM' within the BJD who hasn't been elected by the people. The BJD has effectively delegated the role of CM to someone who lacks understanding of Odisha's cultural values," Modi said without naming Pandian.

Stating that a span of 25 years is a long time when an entire generation comes of age, Modi said the BJD could not develop Odisha despite the state having all the potential to grow. 'Despite this passage of time, the BJD government has failed to uplift Odisha from poverty. Today, there is widespread discontent among the people of the state towards BJD leaders,' he said.

Stating that the 'countdown' of the BJD government has started, Modi said the state's law and order situation has deteriorated significantly, with even ministers falling victim to brazen daylight murders.

"Naveen Babu has been CM for a long time, yet the people of Odisha remain disheartened as he seems disconnected from their struggles. A leader who can't even name the districts of Odisha won't understand people's hardships. Give me just five years, and I will propel Odisha to the top spot. Having served as Gujarat CM, I know Odisha's immense potential with its abundant minerals, far surpassing Gujarat's. A leader deeply connected to the state's roots should lead Odisha to its rightful place as India's No. 1 state," he said.

Noting that Lord Jagannath is the soul of Odia people, Modi said for the past six years, the keys to the inner chamber of the sacred Shri Ratna Bhandar in the Shri Jagannath Temple have been missing.

"Do we not deserve to understand the whereabouts of these keys? The state administration claims to have discovered duplicate keys for the Ratna Bhandar, but how were they created, and by whom? There's uncertainty surrounding whether they were utilised or not," Modi told the gathering.

Modi said the state administration had delegated the inquiry into this issue to a commission, but the Odisha government has not disclosed the findings of the report.

"Why is the BJD government avoiding this issue? What is the reason behind it? Whom is the state administration attempting to protect?," Modi asked.

Appealing to the people to ensure a BJP government in the state after election, Modi said each vote from Odisha will contribute to the 'double-engine' government in the state. "The public must ensure the victory of BJP candidates in all 21 Lok Sabha seats," he said, reiterating that June 4 will mark the expiry date of the BJD government.

"On June 10, the BJP CM will take oath in Bhubaneswar. We will give you a CM who was born in Odisha, and who knows and values the tradition of this land. I extend an invitation to the oath-taking ceremony of BJP’s chief minister on June 10 in Bhubaneswar," Modi told the gathering.

Stating that the Patnaik-led government doesn’t deserve to remain in power in Odisha, Modi said, 'Today, there’s anger among people against the BJD leaders and they are saying only one thing, ‘Kete din sahiba Odisha’ (for how long will Odisha tolerate)? I have come to seek double blessings for the BJP MLA and MP candidates contesting in Odisha so that the BJP can form a double-engine in the state and also achieve its 400-plus mission at the Centre."

In a reference to Odisha 'Ashmita', the Prime Minister said the BJP was all along committed to highlight it.

"During the G-20 conference in Delhi, prominent leaders from across the world came and I took their pictures in front of the wheel Konark Surya Mandir," he said, adding that the BJP government has sanctioned the Paika Sangram Memorial, symbolizing Odia valor.

Additionally, a coin and postage stamp were issued in honour of Paika Sangram.

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Published 11 May 2024, 18:40 IST

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