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Modi sees plot in Naveen's deteriorating health, Odisha CM hits back

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
May 29, 2024 22:57 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hinted at a "conspiracy" behind the "sudden deterioration of the health condition of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and said if the Bharatiya Janata Party formed the government in the state, it will constitute a special committee to probe the facts.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik during the inauguration of development projects in Chandikhole, Odisha, March 5, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

"Is the lobby that is currently running the Patnaik government on his behalf responsible for it?" Modi said while addressing election rallies in Mayurbhanj and Balasore Lok Sabha seats in Odisha.


Reacting strongly, Patnaik said: "Let me assure the PM that I am in perfect health and I have been campaigning in the state for the last month. He has stated publicly earlier that I am his good friend. All he had to do was pick up the telephone and ask me about my health. But a number of BJP people from Odisha and Delhi are spreading rumours about my health.

Patnaik also posted on X that "4.5 crore people of Odisha are my family. My dear mothers, the youth must give a proper response to this disrespect by voting on June 1st."

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."

"It has been worsening over the last one year. Is there a conspiracy behind this? Is the lobby that is currently running the Patnaik government on his behalf responsible for it? If the BJP forms the government in Odisha after the ongoing assembly elections, it would constitute a special committee to ascertain the reason behind the deterioration of Patnaik's health," Modi said.

He also added that the "mystery behind Naveen babu's deteriorating health condition should be revealed as the people of the state have the right to know the reason."

The PM's remark on Patnaik's health condition came a day after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged that bureaucrat-turned-politician V K 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 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 Sarma's comment, 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.

The Prime Minister said after a gap of five decades, a full majority government would be formed at the Centre for the third consecutive term and asserted that under his rule, India's economy rose from the 11th position to the fifth in the last 10 years,

"Ten years ago, nobody thought terrorism could be stopped in India but we have shown it by protecting our major cities from blasts. No one thought peace would return to Jammu and Kashmir but people there are now celebrating Republic Day and voting in large numbers," he said.

India's missile prowess has exponentially increased in the last 10 years and the country is now exporting BrahMos missiles to other countries, he said and added that "Chandrayaan has reached a place where no country has ever reached".

Attacking the BJD government, he said: "Wherever you step in Odisha, there is natural wealth but the state remains poor because it was first looted by the Congress and then by the BJD for the last 25 years."

"People of Odisha know that voting for BJD would mean wasting their vote. They don't trust it anymore... you gave 25 years to the party, and it deceived you, looted you and kept you underdeveloped," he added.

The BJP-led government at the Centre is working for the welfare of tribals and his government declared the birthday of Birsa Munda as 'Janjatiya Gaurav Divas', he said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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