Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janta Dal (BJD) leader Naveen Patnaik has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleging that there is a ‘conspiracy’ behind the latter’s deteriorating health. 

“It’s unfortunate that he (PM Modi) said this to get votes. He says he is a good friend of mine, couldn’t he have telephoned me? Instead, he is saying this in an election meeting to get votes.” CM Naveen Patnaik told reporters on Thursday. 

On Wednesday, PM Modi hinted that there is a ‘conspiracy’ behind CM Naveen Patnaik’s deteriorating health. PM Modi further said that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forms government in Odisha, it would form a committee to ‘probe facts’. 

Modi, in his rally just days ahead of the last phase of the Lok Sabha election, also said that well-wishers of Naveen babu are worried over his deteriorating health condition.

The PM’s remark on CM Naveen Patnaik’s health condition came a day after Assam Chief Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged that bureaucrat-turned-politician VK Pandian was “controlling” even the hand movements of the Odisha CM. 

Sharing a video showing Patnaik’s hand shaking while delivering a speech at a meeting and VK Pandian putting it on a table, Sarma said in a post on X, “This is a deeply distressing video. Shri V K Pandian ji is even controlling the hand movements of Shri Naveen babu.” 

Pandian, who hails from Tamil Nadu, has studied in Delhi and started his career as a Punjab cadre IAS officer, but shifted to Odisha cadre after marrying an Odia woman. 

The BJP has been calling him an “outsider” in Odisha’s politics. 

In response to Himanta Biswa Sarma’s comment, Naveen Patnaik in a video message on Tuesday said, “I believe the BJP which is known to make non-issues into issues, are discussing my hands. This will certainly not work.” Modi also said: “Entire Odisha wants an Odia chief minister. The people of Odisha have decided to put a full stop to the 25-year rule of the BJD in the state.”

Along with the elections to 21 Lok Sabha seats, polls are also being conducted for the 147-member Odisha state assembly.

(With agency inputs)


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Published: 30 May 2024, 06:41 PM IST

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