Kendrapara: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the exit of the 19-year-old Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha is a foregone conclusion and claimed that BJP is set to snatch power in the state.
“In Odisha to campaign for the last phase, I want to tell Naveen babu that you are on your way out. Your exit is predestined. Your handful of officers cannot save you’,” said a visibly self-assured Modi at a well-attended rally in Kendrapara. “I am asking every voter in Odisha to stand their ground with determination. It is a foregone conclusion that the BJD rule is ending in Odisha as BJP is coming to power here,” added the PM.
Accusing Patnaik of staying in power with the help of a few bureaucrats, Modi said Odisha’s development has been “held captive” so far by these officials and that the “double engine” of BJP governments both in the state and at the Centre after the ongoing polls would help Odisha realize its full potential. The PM also lashed out at the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government at two BJP rallies even as polling was held for the third-phase of simultaneous polls in the state.
“During the campaigning for the first and second phase of the polls, I observed all dignities. I had refrained from even criticising Naveen Babu. It was because I wanted a respectable departure for him as he has served Odisha for so many years. He should not exit with humiliation. I had kept quiet out of respect for him, and I wanted his farewell to be a nice show. But in the past 10 to 12 days, they (BJD) resorted to violence like in West Bengal and his (Patnaik’s) officers stayed blindfolded when this game was on,” said Modi in a no-holds-barred attack on the Odisha chief minister.
Patnaik, meanwhile, reiterated that Modi-led BJP will not come back again in the state.
“If BJP is so strong and popular, why has it lost in some states in recent months? In the ongoing polls, BJP is set to lose across the country. They (BJP) did great publicity for the Gujarat model, but returned to power with a small majority,” said Patnaik. He addressed several BJD rallies in the coastal Bhadrak and Balasore districts.
In the third phase of the simultaneous polls held in Odisha on Tuesday, voters exercised their franchise in six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly constituencies. Polling was held peacefully at 10,464 booths for Cuttack, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seats and the 42 Assembly segments coming under them. Voter turnout was recorded 58.18 per cent till 6 PM.