Patra Vs Patra: Odisha Chief Secretary Caught In BJP, BJD Crossfire

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Bhubaneswar: A day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced Rs 153 crore for the development of Balasore town, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra took a swipe at Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

Sambit accused him of acting as a ‘henchman’ of the ruling party despite being an IAS officer of repute.

The package was announced on Tuesday hours after Mohapatra along with 5T Secretary V K Pandian and Works Secretary Krishan Kumar assessed the infrastructure needs of the town.

The Balasore review and package came a few days before the April 17 Pipili bypoll (now postponed following the demise of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj) and a day after the CM promised to personally look after the development of Pipili-Delanga at a virtual rally. He had made a similar promise to the electorate of Balasore during the bypoll last year.

Referring to this coincidence in this tweet, Sambit alleged that the Chief Secretary’s visit was an attempt to ‘politically influence’ the bypoll. “You went to Balasore. What about Bijepur, Patkura and Tirtol where the CM had made similar announcements of taking personal care. Whether CM remembers these too,” he questioned.

Responding to his tweets, BJD’s Rajya Sabha member Sasmit Patra retorted on his ‘anti-Balasore’ stance.

The BJD and the BJP had engaged in a similar duel of words over Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab the previous day. After BJD general secretary (organisation) Pranab Das’ Columbus jibe at Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Sambit accused the regional party of being intolerant. Pranab’s tweet was in response to Dharmendra’s statement at an event praising Bhartruhari and questioning why he was being sidelined in the BJD.

Also Read: What’s Cooking? BJP, BJD Verbal Duel On Bhartruhari Sparks Speculation

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