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BJD opts for high-pitched celebration for Patnaik’s award despite rail mishap 

BJD chief whip Amar Satpathy said the felicitation was unprecedented in scale and was necessary as the CM brought a dignity to the state.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 00:44 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Naveen Patnaik,Biju Janata Dal,BJD
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik (in front car) being welcomed by BJD supporters on his arrival for Outlook Speakout Award 2017 in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.(PTI)

Thousands of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers, along with ministers and party legislators, gave a rousing welcome to Naveen Patnaik on Sunday as he reached Bhubaneswar after getting an award from a news magazine even though the party decided to tone down the celebrations following the train accident in Uttar Pradesh that killed over 20 people.

Patnaik was awarded the best administrator by Outlook magazine in a ceremony in New Delhi on Friday. But after the Haridwar-bound Kalinga Utkal Express derailed near Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, the BJD announced a scaling down of the celebrations.

However, all such decision fizzled out on Sunday afternoon as BJD workers carrying posters of “Our CM is No 1” lined up on both sides of the road from the Biju Patnaik airport the state capital much before Patnaik arrived from Delhi. The BJD also put up hoardings of “ Odisha will be No 1” with the CM’s photo all over the place to celebrate Patnaik’s award.

Hundreds of party activists also greeted Patnaik with bouquets and placards.

BJD chief whip Amar Satpathy said the felicitation was unprecedented in scale and was necessary as the CM brought a dignity to the state. Party MLA Sameer Das said the celebration was spontaneous.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on its part, put up posters all over the city slamming the poor healthcare facilities in the tribal areas of the state.

Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan, who belongs to Talcher in Odisha’s Angul district, said Patnaik’s credibility as an administrator was exposed by the Supreme Court’s ruling on mines scam in the state.

Calling the award a publicity stunt, he said the CM was blowing his own trumpet.

BJD delegation takes stock

A BJD delegation, led by Odisha transport minister Dr Nrusingha Charan Sahoo and MP Pratap Dev, visited the accident spot on Monday and met with the injured at the Muzaffarnagar district hospital.

Dr Sahoo said they were asked by chief minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik to visit the spot and ensure that Odisha residents injured in the accident get proper treatment.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 13:53 IST