Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Accuses Baijayant Panda of Spreading Rumour About His Health
To a question as to why Baijayant Panda would spread such a rumour, 72-year-old Naveen Patnaik replied that he thinks Panda did it for his personal political ambitions.
After rumours regarding Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik's health surfaced, he released a video showing him exercising at his residence.
Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday accused former MP Baijayant Panda of spreading rumour about his "ill" health.
"I am sure that one of our ex-MPs spreads this rumour, I think to get political gain," Patnaik told a private news channel before going on campaign trail to western Odisha.
When asked whether he is referring to Baiyajant Panda, the four-time chief minister said: "I am."
To a question as to why he (Panda) would spread such a rumour, 72-year-old Patnaik, who is seeking election from two Assembly constituencies this time, said: "I think for his personal political ambitions."
On whether Panda attempted positioning himself in the party to take on the chief minister, Patnaik said: "He was trying."
However, Panda was quick to refute the allegation.
"That's just ridiculous thing to say. Also, it's false. It's very sad to see him descend into this paranoia about me," Panda said his twitter post.
"I pray Lord Jagannath to give him the good sense to reject such nonsensical conspiracy theories, and also bless him with continued good health," Panda tweeted.
Patnaik's statement came on the day when Panda filed his nomination for the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat as a BJP nominee. Panda was MP for four times on BJD ticket before quitting the regional party headed by Patnaik last year.
The industrialist-turned-politician was a Rajya Sabha member twice and he was elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 from Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat, considered a BJD fort in the coastal region.
Earlier on Friday, the BJD had released a video showing the chief minister doing exercise. I am "getting ready to fight for the people of Odisha," Patnaik said in the video message.
Elections to the 147-member Odisha Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state would be held simultaneously in four phases April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
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