Oppn Dubs Award & Grand Reception As Farce, Branding Exercise Amid ‘Fading Popularity’ Of Odisha CM
Bhubaneswar: Opposition BJP and the Congress on Tuesday mounted a scathing attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, terming the grand welcome organised by the ruling BJD on his return from Delhi after being conferred with the Capital Foundation ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in Delhi, as farce.
Alleging that normal life came to a grinding halt in the state capital, the opposition parties said thousands of BJD workers gathered on the streets to give a resounding welcome to Naveen, causing inconvenience to the common people.
State BJP media cell head Dilip Mallick said a large number of patients and elderly people were among those who found it difficult to reach their destinations as the huge crowd caused miserable traffic snarls in the city.
Stating that ambulances carrying patients also got stranded due to the traffic jam, he blamed the police for traffic mismanagements.
Claiming that Naveen, also the president of BJD, has a habit of sponsoring awards ahead of the elections, leaders of the two opposition parties also alleged that the whole exercise was aimed at regaining the ‘fading’ popularity of the Chief Minister.
BJP stalwart and Leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra alleged that the award ceremony was sponsored by the BJD government to boost the ruling party’s prospects ahead of the 2024 elections. “Naveen Babu (CM Naveen) has the habit of buying such awards prior to elections. Nothing new in this. An organisation, which is not known to anyone and has no credibility, is felicitating CM. Isn’t this a drama?” Mishra wondered.
Hitting out at the Chief Minister, he said the welcome ceremony will have no impact as people are now able to understand the farce.
BJP Chief Whip Mohan Majhi had earlier said that while the Chief Minister has become number one, the state is still backward.
Speaking in the same vein, senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Routray dubbed the award and the welcome drama as ‘shameless’. “It is an ordinary award. To regain his fading popularity, CM Naveen is doing such drama. People will give a befitting reply to BJD in 2024 elections,” he added.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said that the grand welcome was being arranged to portray Naveen as the world’s biggest leader. “Though the party is terming it as the successful journey of 25 years, the BJD government has failed to provide safe drinking water and adequate numbers of doctors and teachers to the people of Odisha even after being in power for the last 22 years,” he said.
On the other hand, the ruling BJD said Naveen’s hard work has earned him the award and the matter should not be politicised. “Odisha is among the top three states in the country in terms of food security and the state has set an example in women empowerment and other developmental projects under the 5T scheme,” said Cuttack Mayor Subash Singh.
BJD MP Sasmit Patra said the whole state welcomed the Chief Minister in a grand way as this is a moment of pride for all. “I do not want to politicise it as his 25 years of hard work has earned him the Lifetime Achievement Award,” he said.
It may be noted that Naveen received the Capital Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his distinctive and outstanding leadership qualities from Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Sunday. He dedicated the award to the people of Odisha who have reposed faith in him and given him an opportunity to serve them.