Amit Shah advises Naveen Patnaik, 77, to retire, Congress says hinting at PM Narendra Modi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Amit Shah advises Naveen Patnaik, 77, to retire, Congress says hinting at PM Narendra Modi

May 22, 2024 10:35 AM IST

Amit Shah addressed back-to-back election rallies in Odisha ahead of the third phase of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls on May 25.

Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday suggested that Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who is 77 years old, should retire due to his “advanced age and health issues”. It prompted Congress veteran P Chidambaram to take a swipe at the home minister, asking if he was hinting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is 73 years and seven months old.

Union home minister Amit Shah and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram.
Union home minister Amit Shah and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram.

Amit Shah was addressing back-to-back election rallies in Odisha ahead of the third phase of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Odisha on May 25. Amit Shah said the ongoing polls are to make Narendra Modi the prime minister for the third term and restore Odisha's glory, which has been “destroyed” by the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government.

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Promising that the Bharatiya Janata Party will make a young Odia-speaking 'bhumiputra' the CM if the party is voted to power in the state, Amit Shah said, “Naveen babu is not keeping well, as a result of which 1.5 lakh government vacancies are not being filled up. If we form the government, we will make appointments to these posts.”

Reacting to the home minister's speech, former Union minister Chidambaram on Wednesday posted on X, “When Mr Amit Shah said that Mr Naveen Patnaik should retire because of ‘advanced age’ (77 years) was he throwing a hint to Mr Narendra Modi (73 years, 7 months) -- in case the BJP formed the government?”

“It seems that Mr Amit Shah will be the happiest person if the BJP did not form the government and he, not Mr Modi, will sit as the Leader of the Opposition!” Chidambaram added.

Chidambaram's swipe at Amit Shah apparently stemmed from Delhi chief minister Kejriwal's repeated claims that Modi would retire from politics once he attains 75 years of age in 2025, in accordance with the saffron party's rules. Arvind Kejriwal has also claimed that the prime minister is seeking votes for Amit Shah as his successor.

Modi, however, has dismissed allegations from opposition leaders, asserting that no such arrangement has been made.

"I do not have any inheritance of my own, you are my inheritance and you are also my heir," said Modi during his address in Bihar's Maharajganj on Tuesday.

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