Sib Kumar Das

During recent developments in State I was feeling choked because of BJP ties

Results of urban body elections show that BJP is losing ground in Orissa

GOPALPUR (ORISSA): “I and my party feel free after snapping ties with the communal BJP,” Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Tuesday.

He was reacting to the remarks made against him by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj, who on Monday called him and his Biju Janata Dal “traitors.”

Mr. Patnaik, who was on a campaign tour in his home district, told a meeting at Karapalli village, that the people of Orissa knew that it was the BJP, which was guilty of “betrayal after enjoying power for a long time due to the alliance [with the BJD].” He said the BJP leaders decided much earlier to end the alliance. “So, on March 7 night they preferred to go to the Raj Bhavan and withdraw support to the government even while seat-sharing talks were still on.”

Referring to the communal violence in Kandhamal district, Mr. Patnaik criticised the “communal links” of the BJP with the sangh parivar. “Due to the recent developments in the State I was feeling choked because of the ties with the BJP.” Now, it was a gush of freedom for him when the BJP snapped ties with the BJD, he said.

Mr. Patnaik said the BJP leaders showed that they were not for the alliance as they had started attacking the government in the Assembly even while being part of it. “It was they who betrayed and axed the relationship rather than us.”

He pointed out that the results in the last urban body elections proved that the BJP was losing ground in the State.