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BJP starts website to poke fun at Naveen Patnaik ahead of Children's Day speech

The turf war between the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP in Odisha has dragged school students in its wake with the saffron party launching a website to take on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2017 22:05 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Odisha,BJD,BJP
The BJP’s satirical website www.studenttips.in launched on Monday pokes fun at the BJD government’s claims of achievements in Odisha. (Screengrab of www.studenttips.in)

A day before Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik addresses over 60 lakh school students across the state on Children’s Day, the opposition BJP launched a website for school children on Monday that poked fun at the government’s claims.

Patnaik, who is scheduled to deliver his ‘Mann ki Baat’ speech for kids from a government high school in Bhubaneswar, is using the opportunity to send a subtle message through school children about his government’s achievements.

In the past week, schools across the state have conducted debates and essay competitions with topics extolling Patnaik and his government’s successes. This is the first time Patnaik would address the constituency of children as questions are being raised about his 17-year legacy.

While the opposition BJP and Congress have flayed his move, the BJP on Monday launched a satirical website www.studenttips.in that pokes fun at the government’s claims. Taking a swipe at essay topics like “Naveen best administrator”, the website said “BJD utfullita, but Odia samasyare jarjarita” (BJD delirious, but Odia people are torn apart by problems).

It hosts a 10-page booklet titled “Abhyas Pustika” (Revision book) that lists government’s failures on various fronts, including education, health infrastructure, sanitation, drinking water supply, agriculture and irrigation -- suggesting the kids to look at the facts while debating and writing essays. But the website may have come a little late as the essay and debate competitions are already over. The school and mass education department had suggested debate topics like “Proud Odisha - Our CM got best administrator award” for students of Class 8-10.

In another section titled “Ama kama kahe katha (works speaks louder) the site hosts several newsclips starting from teachers usurping mid day meal rice to pregnant women being carried on cots. Using cartoons, the site shows how a teacher in a village school doubles up as math and literature teacher.

“The government is spending Rs 200 crore just for its publicity on Children’s Day. After destroying the education system over 17 years, the CM is now resorting to drama,” alleged BJP spokesperson Sameer Mohanty. “The site would be a factchecker for students and their teachers against the tall claims of the government.”

BJD spokesman Sameer Dash said BJP’s website has many untruths which people would not digest. “The allegation that the State government is spending Rs 200 crore for the Children’s Day function is pure lie,” he said.

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 21:53 IST