Modi raises concerns about Naveen Patnaik’s health; Odisha CM calls it rumour | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Modi raises concerns about Naveen Patnaik’s health; Odisha CM calls it rumour

ByDebabrata Mohanty
May 29, 2024 07:27 PM IST

Modi wondered if a lobby were behind the deteriorating health of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and assured that if the BJP is voted to power in the state, a special committee will be formed to ascertain the matter

Amid videos of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s shivering hands going viral on social media, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the well-wishers of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader were worried over his health, and they believed that there might be a conspiracy behind it, invoking immediate rebuttal from Patnaik.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. (PTI/ANI Photos)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik. (PTI/ANI Photos)

Addressing a public meeting in Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district, Modi wondered if a lobby, who is enjoying power in Odisha behind curtains, were involved in the conspiracy, and assured that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is voted to power in the state, a special committee will be formed to ascertain why Patnaik’s health got deteriorated.

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“The well wishers and those who were close to Naveen babu are worried over the fact that his health has deteriorated significantly in the last one year. Whenever they meet me, they say that he is unable to do anything on his own. They believe that there might be a conspiracy behind the incident,” Modi said.

“Is there any conspiracy? The people of Odisha have the right to know the truth. Is the lobby, who is enjoying power in Odisha behind curtains, involved in the matter? If the BJP is voted to power in Odisha, our government will form a special committee after June 10. The committee will ascertain as to why Naveen babu’s health deteriorated,” he said.

Patnaik immediately hit back at Modi, saying he was hurt by Modi’s comments.

“The PM in a public meeting has said that I am in bad health and that he wants to institute an inquiry. If he is so concerned about my health and he has stated publicly before that I am a good friend of his, all he had to do was to pick up the telephone and ring me up about my health. I understand a number of people of BJP in Odisha and Delhi have been spreading rumours about my health for the last 10 years. Let me assure the PM that I am in perfect health, and I am campaigning in the state since last month. If he were to form a committee, I suggest he from a committee to look into people who are spreading such rumours,” Patnaik told journalists at his residence Naveen Niwas.

On Tuesday, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had shared a video on X in which BJD leader and Patnaik’s close aide VK Pandian was purportedly seen hiding the shivering hand of the chief minister behind the podium while he was addressing a meeting.

“Shri VK Pandian ji is even controlling the hand movements of Shri Naveen Babu. I shudder to imagine the level of control a retired ex-bureaucrat from Tamil Nadu is currently exercising over the future of Odisha,” he said.

He further alleged that Patnaik himself does not sign any document. “I suspect that Pandian ji misuses his digital signature. My request is that as soon as the BJP government is formed, this matter should be investigated,” Sarma said.

Addressing another meeting in Kendrapara, Modi said Odisha wants to get rid of those who are looting it. “Odisha wants to get rid of the group that wants to keep Odia culture and Odisha government hostage. Today, the people want to put a full-stop to the 25 years of BJD rule. The entire Odisha is saying that its chief minister should be an Odia,” he said.

“The people of Odisha want Modi Guarantee. Odisha has decided to instate a ‘double-engine’ government this time. Not only Odisha, but the entire country has decided to form a ‘Majboot Sarkar’ for the third time. Today, I have come here to give you one thing and take one thing from you. I have come here to seek your blessings and also to extend invitation for the June 10, as it will be on this date that a BJP CM will take oath in Odisha,” he added.

Modi said the people of Odisha have trusted BJD for 25 years, but it betrayed them in every possible manner.

“BJD has tried to snatch away the land of triabls. This BJD Govt has looted mineral resources. The Modi government formed district mineral fund and gave thousands of crore money to Odisha. But BJD did corruption in it also. People are saying that money looted from Odisha is being stashed in foreign soil. No matter where they hide the money, it is Modi’s Guarantee that it will be taken out. Those who have looted people will have to return the money and pay for it by spending the rest of their lives in jail. There is no sympathy for those who are looting people. This is necessary in the country,” he said.

Raising the issue of Ratna Bhandar of Jagannath temple, Modi alleged that the BJD government did the biggest fraud with Lord Jagannath.

“The people across the globe want to know what happened to the keys of Ratna Bhandar? What happened to the investigation report and whose name is in it, asked PM Modi. Whatever the BJD is hiding, the BJP will expose all after forming government in Odisha,” he said.

In his address at Baripada town of Mayurbhanj, Modi said earlier Mayurbhanj was known for women pulling the chariot of Maa Subhadra during the annual Rath Yatra festival.

“Now, Mayurbhanj’s daughter Droupadui Murmu is the leader of 140 crore people and leading the country. As the President of India, she is commanding three armed forces. It’s a matter of pride of every person of Odisha,” he said.

Predicting a big storm in politics in next six months, Modi said in the six months after June 4, the country will catch a new pace of development.

“Today is the last of election campaigning in Odisha and it is certain that a stable Modi government will be formed as it is visible from the excitement, which is visible, be it in Jharkhand, West Bengal or here in the state. In the next six months there is going to bring a big storm in politics. Disappointment is at its peak among the workers of all the family parties. People of their own are questioning the family leaders who have failed repeatedly. Therefore, in the next 6 months, we will see a new disintegration in the family parties,” he said.

He further said that in the next five years, people will see India becoming Atma Nirbhar (self-reliant) in various sectors. “There will be a massive transformation in infrastructure, railways and highways. This will benefit Odisha and other states,” he said.

As the campaign comes to an end on May 30, political experts in Odisha said Modi attacking Patnaik may create some impact on voters’ mind about Patnaik’s wellbeing.

“There have been some videos on social media about the CM’s health. The PM talking about it may cause some impact. But more than that anti-incumbency and the apprehension of Pandian succeeding CM would have a bigger impact on BJD’s electoral prospects,” said political commentator SP Dash.

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