Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a direct attack on Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik over the state of unemployment in the state as well as the 11-party political bloc the Third Front.
"I was trying to speak in Odiya not becasue I wanted to put down your chief minister, but there should be respect for every language in the country," Modi told a crowd chanting his name at the Barmunda Ground in Bhubaneswar.
Patnaik has been criticised for his inability to speak Odiya since he entered politics after the death of his father Biju Patnaik in 1997. His lack of command over Odiya has been made an election issue in the past well.
Modi continued his attack on Pattnaik saying that he is surprised that even people from the CM's district have to move to Gujarat to find employment.
"I want to create employment in Odisha so that youth don't leave the state, and those who have left also come back."
The Gujarat chief minister also took a dig at the Third Front which is being cobbled by Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal, Left parties, Nitish Kumar of Janata Dal (United), HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular), Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, J Jayalalithaa's AIADMK, among others.
"Those who talk of the Third Front, I want them to take an aerial view of this place, they will know there is a wave of change in Odisha," said Modi.
"Among the 11 parties, nine are those who have constantly supported the Congress, but during elections these parties wear the veil of the Third Front," he added.
Modi said that the world can be changed if the government wants to work for the people adding that only BJP's model of development can bring prosperity to Odisha.
He invited political analysts and economists for a public debate to compare the growth and model of development of BJP, Congress, Left and political parties.
"Only the BJP's model is best for the country. Except BJP, no other party is concerned about the welfare of people," he said.
Modi asked the people of Odisha to vote for the BJP both in Lok Sabha as well as the assembly elections.
"What the Congress could not do in 60 years, I will do it in just 60 months," he said.
Modi also highlighted the issue water shortage in Odisha and talked about improving the drinking water system in the state.
Party president Rajnath Singh also accompanied the Gujarat chief minister.
The Barmunda Ground was sanitised by the Odisha police, Gujarat police and the Special Protection Group with sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads.
"We have taken all security measures for Narendra Modi's visit," DGP Prakash Mishra said.
(With PTI inputs)