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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

I am in good health, stop spreading lies: Naveen Patnaik reacts to BJP's 'take rest' remark

Naveen’s closed-aide and Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s chief strategist, V.K. Pandian said: 'I only hope that BJP comes to with innovative ideas instead of talking about something which is non-existent. You are all watching the chief minister. It is very unfortunate below the belt'

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 25.05.24, 07:18 AM
Naveen Patnaik during an election campaign roadshow in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

Naveen Patnaik during an election campaign roadshow in Bhubaneswar on Monday. PTI

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday criticised the BJP for spreading lies and rumour about his health and asked the saffron party not to stoop down to such a low level. Naveen was reacting to the canard spread by the saffron party on his health.

Naveen, 77, said: “There is a limit to the amount of lies the Bharatiya Janata Party can tell. As you see, I am in very good health and I have been campaigning for around a month all over the state.”

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Naveen’s closed-aide and Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s chief strategist, V.K. Pandian said: “I only hope that BJP comes to with innovative ideas instead of talking about something which is non-existent. You are all watching the chief minister. It is very unfortunate below the belt.

“People of Odisha will not appreciate this kind of demeaning of a chief minister who enjoys such popularity among the people of Odisha. I only suggest letting
them come up with something innovative. It is so substandard.”

On Friday, BJP national president J.P. Nadda asked Naveen to “take rest”.

Earlier in an election speech, Nadda had said, “People have made up their mind to give rest to Naveen Babu and set the governance free from the bureaucratic control. They want a healthy, active and young chief minister, who can serve them and contribute to bring significant changes in their daily life.”

Union home minister Amit Shah during his campaign had also maintained that Naveen should retire from active politics because of advanced age and health issues.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had maintained that chief justice or a judge of Orissa High Court or governor should talk to Naveen alone to asses his well-being and ensure he was not under duress.

“I am the chief minister of a state. I can personally meet anyone and people can also meet me. The same is in the case of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. However, Odisha chief minister can not meet any one personally. No one can also meet him alone as Pandian always stays with him.”

The state BJP unit has also raised the health issue of Naveen. In a press conference, BJP’s former state unit president Samir Mohanty alleged that the chief minister was being held hostage by Pandian and some other non-Odia officials for some days.

“People of Odisha have the rights to know about the condition of the chief minister,” said Mohanty.

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