Boycott slugfest: Naveen Patnaik skips LNG terminal event; BJD calls it ‘BJP show’ | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Boycott slugfest: Naveen Patnaik skips LNG terminal event; BJD calls it ‘BJP show’

india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 22:04 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Last month, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had skipped the inauguration event of the first food park in tribal-dominated district of Rayagada although Union minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had invited him.

Last month, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had skipped the inauguration event of the first food park in tribal-dominated district of Rayagada although Union minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had invited him.(PTI)

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik opted out of a ceremony attended by Union ministers on Saturday, days after they skipped his flagship event, aggravating the boycott-slugfest between the BJD and the BJP.

Patnaik was scheduled to be at Dhamra port in Bhadrak district in the morning for the groundbreaking ceremony of Adani group’s Rs 6,000 crore 5-million tonne-a-year LNG import terminal along with Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan.

On Friday night, the CM’s office announced his change in plans.

The boycott seems to be in retaliation to Union ministers of BJP, Vijay Goel, Jual Oram and Pradhan giving a miss to the inaugural event of 22nd Asian Athletic Sports Championship — now underway at Bhubaneswar — earlier this week.

The Union ministers’ boycott came during BJP president Amit Shah’s three-day tour to Odisha during which Shah said that BJP would ride back to power in 2019 with at least 120 of the 147 seats in the state assembly.

As Shah gave a clarion call to party cadre to prepare for two-third majority in 2019 assembly election, the state government retaliated by removing Shah’s posters near Kalinga stadium amid protests by BJP activists.

BJD leaders said Patnaik skipped the LNG terminal groundbreaking as it was turned into BJP’s party show. “If it was a government programme, why did they invite former BJP MLAs to the event?” asked BJD Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Deb.

However, BJP termed Patnaik’s boycott as his lack of interest in state’s affairs.

“I don’t think Naveen babu cares for state’s interests and is not interested to go to places where there is no chance of an image makeover. The LNG terminal would bring prosperity to Odisha, but he is not bothered,” said Sajjan Sharma, BJP spokesman.

Scheduled for completion in 2020, the LNG terminal would feed IOC’s three oil refineries at Barauni, Haldia and Paradip besides supplying feedstock to fertiliser plants at Barauni, Sindri and Gorakhpur.

The politics of boycott between the two parties has been going on for a while.

Last month, Patnaik skipped the inauguration event of the first food park in tribal-dominated district of Rayagada although Union minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had invited him.

The Rs 80 crore food park has fully operational industrial sheds for entrepreneurs, industrial plots for lease to food processing units, rice processing complex, dry warehouse and cold storage.