The Telegraph
Thursday , April 3 , 2014
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Naveen and Bijoy engage in verbal duel

Kendrapara, April 2: Poll scenario generated heat today in seaside Mahakalpada Assembly seat with chief minister Naveen Patnaik hitting the campaign trail and launching an attack on his political opponent Bijoy Mohapatra, the BJP nominee for the seat.

Mohapatra, who failed to make it to the Assembly since 2000 after Naveen had denied him the party ticket at the last minute, is locked in a triangular contest with BJD nominee Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Congress nominee Balram Parida.

The chorus of “Naveen Patnaik zindabad” and “BJD zindabad” echoed across the public meeting in highway-side Jadupur village where Naveen made a frontal attack on Mohapatra.

Without naming him, Naveen said late Biju Patnaik failed to become chief minister for the second term in 1995 “only because of the act of betrayal and back-stabbing by some of his party colleagues”. He said: “The poll loss and failure to serve Odisha’s people had deeply hurt Biju babu till his death. One of his party colleagues is contesting from Mahakalpada seat. Voters should reject him,” he said.

Reacting sharply to Naveen’s remarks, Mohapatra said: “Naveen was not in politics in 1995. It is foolish on his part to comment on what had led to the defeat of the Janata Dal in 1995. I am not a betrayer. Rather he has mastered the art of betrayal. His acts of betrayal are many. I am one of the victims of his treachery and back-stabbing”.

Mohapatra was the leaders, who had persuaded Naveen to join politics after the death of the legendary leader. In 2000 Assembly polls, he was denied the party ticket from Patkura, his home constituency. In 2004, he had contested elections unsuccessfully from his Odisha Gana Parishad. In 2009, he had lost the polls again, and subsequently, he joined the BJP.

Naveen appealed to the voters to vote for his party and listed the achievements of his government. He said the BJD would form the government for the fourth successive term.

“I have visited several constituencies and gauged the people’s mood. They have no trust whatsoever on the Congress and the BJP. There is a wave in favour of the BJD both for Assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Referring to the allegations of the Opposition parties regarding the mining scam, he said the BJD government had “maintained transparency in the mining activities. On detection of the improprieties, a thorough inquiry has been initiated and those found guilty have been taken to task”.

While Naveen dwelt on the development-oriented programmes launched by his government right from child, mother, youths to sick and ageing people, it was left to his party colleagues to list out his achievements in the 14-year reign.

BJD MP candidate Baijayant Panda said: “The BJD’s victory in 2014 polls is a foregone conclusion. People from all walks of life love Naveen Patnaik. They would vote en masse in favour of his leadership.”

Naveen was spotted in jovial mood as his party colleagues heaped praise on him and dwelt on the party-wining prospects in the coming polls.