Odisha Elections 2024: Veteran Cong Leader Jairam Ramesh Terms Modi-Naveen Barbs As ‘Fake Boxing Match’

Bhubaneswar: Veteran Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has termed the exchange of barbs between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister during election campaign in Odisha as “fake boxing match”.

In a post titled “The Na-rendra vs Na-veen fake boxing match continues” in his personal handle in X (previously Twitter) on Sunday, Ramesh said, “First the outgoing PM goes to Odisha and says that Naveenbabu cannot, without a paper in front of him, name all the districts of Odisha along with their capitals (this is what is taught in Entire Political Science). Then the CM of Odisha responds saying that outgoing PM is anti-Odisha and has done nothing for the Odia language.”

Addressing a public meeting in Balangir during his election campaign in the state on Saturday, Modi had sought to know whether Naveen can name all the 30 districts of Odisha without referring to any prepared note. He also wanted to know if the CM will be able to name 10 villages of Kantabanji Assembly constituency in Balangir where the BJD president is seeking election.

In a strong rebuttal later, Naveen had pointed out the Centre’s negligence towards Odisha in the last 10 years. “The people of Odisha very well know what I remember or not for the last 24 years. But Prime Minister, do you remember Odisha?”, he said.

“Forget about forming government on June 10, the BJP cannot win the hearts of Odia people even in next 10 years. But the BJD will form government for sixth consecutive term due to love and support of people of Odisha,” Naveen had said in a video release.

But Ramesh said the BJD did not support him earlier when he raised the issue of Odisha’s neglect by the BJP government at the Centre. “On March 16, 2020, I had made a speech in the Rajya Sabha on the neglect of Odia by the Modi Sarkar. Not one BJD MP said this that day. However, I am glad that Naveen Patnaik’s speechwriters have now unearthed this speech of mine and the facts presented in it to counter Modi,” Ramesh wrote in his post.

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