A day after ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik rated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's performance at 8 out of 10, opposition Congress on Monday said they are one and undivided.
While Patnaik praised Modi and his government at the Centre, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasinghas Mishra said, "The BJD and BJP MLAs are engaged in a mock fight in Odisha Assembly." The Congress leader said this while referring to BJP members creating ruckus in the Odisha Assembly alleging central negligence towards repair of the National Highway between Cuttack and Sambalpur.
"The chief minister rated the Modi government 8 out of 10, but his party on Monday raised NHAI issue in the Assembly and alleged negligence by the Centre. This shows that a mock fight is taking place outside the Assembly to fool people," Mishra told reporters outside the Assembly.
Senior Congress MLA SS Saluja said, "We are in doubt over their agenda. They (BJD & BJP) may contest the upcoming elections jointly. Keeping in view the praise being showered by the CM (to Modi), it appears he is in trouble." Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said the BJD openly supported the BJP government at the Centre when a no-confidence motion was moved against the Modi government. The regional party also supported the BJP when Delhi Service Bill was introduced. Both these recent incidents prove that the BJD and BJP are both sides of a coin, he said.
BJP MLA Nauri Nayak said, "The CM is telling the truth. Modi’s performance is even praised by leaders of other parties." However, the BJP MLA rejected the possibility of a pre-poll alliance between the BJP and the BJD in run up to the 2024 general elections.
"There will be no friendly match between the BJD and the BJP as alleged. We will face the election with full vigour," he said.
BJD leader and Odisha Energy Minister P K Deb while reacting over Patnaik’s marking on Modi’s performance said, "The chief minister is a wise politician. He has been elected as the chief minister for five consecutive times. I have no depth to comment on his statement." During his visit to Odisha in August, BJP stalwart and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had praised BJD president Naveen Patnaik as "popular", and hailed him for becoming the chief minister five times in a row.
"Patnaik has created the record of becoming the chief minister of Odisha for five times in a row. He is a popular chief minister," Amit Shah, who is considered as the number two in the central government as well as in the ruling BJP, said on Augsut 5 here.
He also praised the chief minister and the BJD government for the decline in naxal violence and Maoist influence in the state.
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