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Political Reactions On Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s PM Possibility


18 May 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: As Surya Narayan Patro, senior leader and vice-president of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), yesterday batted for his party supremo Naveen Patnaik for being the best person adorning the prime minister’s post if offered, his statement today prompted political reactions from BJP and Congress.

In his media reactions, former BJD leader and incumbent BJP leader Damodar Rout said, “The Indian Parliament is of 543 elected MPs. Odisha’s share is merely 21. When China in an act of betrayal all at once attacked India in 1962, the then Indian Force was not so efficient enough. Hence late Biju Patnaik, despite being the Chief Minister of Odisha, had supplied food and clothes to our soldiers by flying his Dakota. For that reason, Nehru asked him to resign as per the Kamraj Plan in order to make him Defence Minister.”

“However, the Maharashtra lobby was stronger than Odisha and Y.B. Chauvan resigned then and was made the Defence Minister instead. Despite Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s strong wish, he couldn’t make Biju Patnaik the Defence Minister,” he explained.

He argued, “When this had been the situation then, forget about our today’s case. After the results will be out, Naveen Babu’s popularity will be evident. The number party MPs he is able to send this time will decide if he is going to be the prime minister or not. It is premature on the part of Surya Patro to bat for him (Naveen Babu) as the next prime minister.”

“If Naveen Babu becomes the prime minster and it will augur well for the country, there isn’t anything to dispute, but now it is highly hypothetical and ought not to be said like that,” the senior politician frowned.

Senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati reacted, “If an Odia man becomes the prime minister, it is obviously our pride and glory. We welcome if Naveen Babu becomes the prime minister. But, how  can he be?”

He argued, “Last time his party had won 20 MP seats out of the total 21. This time that 20 figure couldn’t be retained. As there had been a propaganda that BJD is winning 20-21 MP seats this time, the Central leaders are giving priority on him (Naveen Patnaik).”

“Even though the regional parties have been offered the prime minster post, but floating Naveen Babu’s name by the BJD leader is just impossible,” the senior Congressman remarked.    

Notably, the grand old Congress party has recently offered to the regional parties the prime minister (PM)’s post in case the UPA and non-NDA parties join hands to form a coalition government at the Centre after the fractured results of Lok Sabha polls on May 23-24. It is being predicted that there would be a hung parliament this time as neither BJP nor Congress will get the requisite majority of their own while the regional parties are expected to be the king makers.

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Damodar Rout, Senior BJP Leader, Odisha

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Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Senior Congressman, Odisha