Odisha BJP leader attacks Patnaik, says his aide hijacked governance system | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Odisha BJP leader attacks Patnaik, says his aide hijacked governance system

ByDebabrata Mohanty
May 01, 2024 10:00 PM IST

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said the BJD seeks votes in Patnaik’s name but VK Pandian takes over the government after elections

Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party leader (BJP) Aparajita Sarangi on Wednesday took a swipe at chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s trusted lieutenant VK Pandian, alleging the bureaucrat-turned-politician had hijacked the governance system and the people’s mandate in Odisha.

Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik files his nomination from Hinjili constituency in Ganjam district on Tuesday (PTI)
Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik files his nomination from Hinjili constituency in Ganjam district on Tuesday (PTI)

Sarangi said the chief minister, who had not been going to the state secretariat after the outbreak of Covid in 2020, had outsourced running the state government to Pandian, who had been the principal secretary to the chief minister for years. In October last year, Pandian quit the Indian Administrative Service and joined Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal.

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“No Sana Babu can take the place of Bada Babu, who has the people’s mandate. The media in Odisha is not allowed inside the building (state secretariat). Earlier, journalists were allowed and information was shared. But now, due to the wrong governance model, things have changed in Odisha. We all need to think that whoever becomes the CM of Odisha, he or she should not outsource the system and government. The chief minister should be able to communicate with us in Odia and should be a youth and healthy,” said Sarangi.

“During elections, BJD seeks votes in the name of chief minister but after elections, the ‘Sana Babu’ takes over the government for five years. The chief minister should not outsource his government,” she said.

Quoting PM Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, she said Odia pride was under threat and questioned the award of state government contracts to firms from outside the state.

On Jagannath Temple Parikrama Project, she challenged the government to put up the details of the expenditure entailed in the project in public domain. “ 4,200 crore was spent on the project from the state budget and everything was done in a secretive and non-transparent manner. 800 crore alone was spent to build the pathway and 4 toilets. In contrast, the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was built at a cost of 1,400 crore through public donations,” she said.

BJD spokesman Priyabrata Majhi declined to react to Sarangi’s allegations.

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