Shivraj Singh Chouhan Says Naveen Patnaik “Does Not Work”, His Party Responds

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Shivraj Singh Chouhan Says Naveen Patnaik 'Does Not Work', His Party Responds

He asserted that the BJP will form the government in Odisha after the assembly elections this year


Senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday accused Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of “outsourcing the state government to a handful of officers, which has led to rampant corruption”.

Addressing a public meeting in Jagatsinghpur district, he alleged that Odisha cannot progress under Patnaik’s rule as the CM was unaware of what was happening across the state as he “does not work himself”.

“As Naveen Patnaik does not work himself, people experience a jungle raj under bureaucratic rule. The state cannot progress till Naveen Patnaik is at the helm,” Mr Chouhan said during his one-day visit to the state.

“Naveen Patnaik has outsourced the government to some officers due to which there is rampant corruption at every level. Mr Patnaik is not running the government, and officers are ruling the state on his behalf,” he said.

The former Madhya Pradesh CM alleged that although the BJD government talks about women empowerment, there has been a “rise in atrocities” against women and girls do not feel safe in the state.

Claiming that the Modi government has released Rs 18 lakh crore for the development of Odisha during the last 10 years, he accused the BJD government of not utilising the funds properly and also “re-branding” central schemes and misleading people.

He asserted that the BJP will form the government in Odisha after the assembly elections this year.

“We (BJP) will also win a maximum of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha,” he said.

The former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh also attended a party programme at Cuttack Lok Sabha seat upon his return from Jagatsinghpur.

Rejecting Mr Chouhan’s claim that the BJP will form the government in the state, BJD leader and close aide of the CM, V K Pandian, who is on a tour of Jajpur district, said, “Let him come here and witness people’s mood. Our CM indulges in politics to serve people, and not for power. Mr Patnaik has already served the people of the state for the last 24 years and again he will get their blessings.” 

BJD MP Munna Khan also rejected Chouhan’s statement and said, “Shivraj ji has no idea about Odisha. He is speaking what is fed to him by local BJP leaders. He should speak after knowing the reality.” Chouhan’s visit was part of BJP leaders’ tour to Odisha ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

BJP state president Manmohan Samal said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will also visit the state on February 15. Gadkari will visit the Puri Lok Sabha constituency and review poll preparations.

Mr Samal said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will arrive here on February 22.

“His itinerary is yet to be finalised. BJP national president J P Nadda may also visit Odisha by the end of this month,” he said.

Samal said the BJP has set a target to secure a 51 percent vote share in the 2024 general election.

On February 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Odisha and addressed a political meeting in Sambalpur.

In January, senior BJP leader Jaynarayan Mishra had said that 21 national leaders of the party will campaign in the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha ahead of the elections.

BJP’s Odisha in-charge Vijaypal Singh Tomar on Sunday claimed that his party will win at least 80 seats in the 147-member Odisha Assembly and 16 of the state’s 21 Lok Sabha seats.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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