PM Modi slams Naveen Patnaik, asks Odisha CM to name all State districts from memory

“Can the CM understand your distress who cannot even name districts without paper? Can you trust him for children’s future?” Mr. Modi said at a rally in Odisha

Updated - May 11, 2024 04:55 pm IST

Published - May 11, 2024 04:35 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the public meeting for the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly Polls, in Kandhamal on May 11, 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the public meeting for the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly Polls, in Kandhamal on May 11, 2024 | Photo Credit: ANI

Throwing his weight behind the BJP’s push for change in regime in Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a frontal attack daring Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to name districts and their headquarter towns without reading out from paper.

Hours before the campaigning came to a close for the first phase polling in Odisha on Saturday, the PM made a whirlwind tour addressing three public meetings in Kandhamal, Balangir and Bargarh districts.

ALSO READ | Lok Sabha elections 2024 LIVE updates - May 11, 2024

“Why are people of Odisha not pleased with you (Mr. Patnaik) even as you have been Chief Minister for years. They are not unhappy because Mr. Patnaik cannot name districts and their headquarters without reading from paper from a public platform,” Mr. Modi said, addressing a public meeting in Kandhamal district on Saturday.

“Can the CM understand your distress who cannot even name districts without paper? Can you trust him for children’s future?” he asked.

The PM raked up this issue as State BJP leaders were critical of Odisha CM’s ‘struggle’ deliver extempore and long speeches.

In another meeting at Bargarh, Mr. Modi charged that whole Odisha government had been outsourced to a person who does not have understanding of the State and its people. “In Odisha, there is a Super Chief Minister who lords over democratically elected CM and MLAs,” he remarked.

The PM was referring to V.K. Pandian, Mr. Patnaik’s close aide, who is accused by BJP and Congress of running the government.

“We are not seeking opportunity for more than five years. Mark my words if I cannot make Odisha number one State. I was CM of Gujarat. Odisha has resources 100 times more than that of Gujarat. Why did Odisha lag behind when Gujarat raced ahead? Odisha has so much mineral resources whereas Gujarat does not have anything except salt. Odish has potential to become number one State,” Mr. Modi maintained.

“The person who is connected to soil of Odisha and people should become its CM. People should come forward and become stakeholder in establishing BJP government in Odisha and help BJP secure more than 400 seats nationally,” he said.

The PM also raised concerns over ‘missing’ key of Ratna Bhandar, inner treasury of 12-century Shree Jagannath Mandir, Puri.

Stating that that there was a provision for making inventory of valuable jewelries and precious stones deposited in Ratna Bhandar, Mr Modi expressed astonishment that as to why the inventory was not made over last 40 years. “The first thing we will do after out government comes is to open the Rathna Bhandar and list out valuable jewelries,” he assured.

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