Remembering Odisha during polls won't help: Naveen Patnaik hits back at PM

CM accuses Modi of neglecting the Odia language and ignoring eminent personalities while conferring the Bharat Ratna award

Naveen Patnaik is contesting the Assembly from two seats (photo: @Naveen_Odisha/X)
Naveen Patnaik is contesting the Assembly from two seats (photo: @Naveen_Odisha/X)


Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's jibe over 'forgetting' the names of districts in Odisha, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday, 11 May, attacked PM Modi, accusing him of neglecting the Odia language, and ignoring eminent personalities, including the late Biju Patnaik, from the state while conferring the Bharat Ratna award.

In a video message, CM Patnaik said the BJP will not get any benefits by remembering Odisha only during elections.

"Whether I remember or not, the people of Odisha have known it well for the last 24 years... But Honourable PM, how much have you remembered Odisha," CM Patnaik asked.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo also accused PM Modi of forgetting the Odia language after it got the classical tag.

"Despite the classical language tag, you forgot about Odia language. Sanskrit language got Rs 1,000 crore, while Odia got zero funds," Patnaik alleged.

CM Patnaik also claimed that he wrote two letters to PM Modi seeking classical tag for Odissi music, but the Prime Minister rejected the proposal twice.

"You had promised to double the MSP for farmers, but you forgot that. You were supposed to build a coastal highway remembering the people of Odisha, but you also forgot that project," CM Patnaik claimed.

He then asked PM Modi whether he remembered the promises he made before the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

He also raised questions over the unfulfilled promises, such as increasing coal royalty, cutting down price rise, and providing two crore jobs, among others.

Asserting that the BJP can never win the hearts of the Odia people, neither this time nor for the next 10 years at least, the chief minister said the BJD will form the government for the sixth time in the state after the ensuing Assembly elections.

Earlier on Saturday, PM Modi during his speech at Kandhamal challenged CM Patnaik to tell the names of all the districts in Odisha along with their headquarters without seeing any paper.

“I challenge Naveen Babu to name the districts of Odisha and their headquarters without looking at a paper. How can a CM, who cannot even name the districts and their headquarters without a piece of paper, be able to understand your pain and suffering,” PM Modi asked.

Taking a dig at CM Patnaik, PM Modi said in another speech at Bolangir that "Nabeen Babu can’t tell the names of 10 villages in Kantabanji Assembly constituency without the help of a paper.

CM Patnaik is contesting the Assembly from two seats -- Hinjili in Ganjam district and Kantabanji in Bolangir district.

Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from 13 May to 1 June.

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