Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday dubbed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress as “anti-people” and “anti-development” and alleged that both the parties always resort to cheap politics to halt the development initiatives undertaken by his government.
Addressing a Jan Sampark Padayatra of his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at Tigiria on the Gandhi Jayanti, Patnaik said the opposition parties are not happy with Odisha’s development journey and they mislead people with false information.
“Apparently, they indulge in such activities whenever elections come. But people have always rejected them for this kind of behaviour,” said Patnaik.
For example, the CM said the opposition parties tried to halt the Jagannath and Lingaraj Temples’ development projects.
This was not the first time that Patnaik took a jibe at the Opposition. In a statement in the State Assembly recently, he had termed the Opposition as ‘anti-people’ and said they cannot return to the House for such activities.
In retaliation, BJP MLA Suryabanshi Suraj said since the government now finds itself amidst piles of corruption and nepotism charges, it is trying to deflect the rising public anger by blaming the Opposition.
“In the 23 years of BJD governance, the State has registered over 1,300 murders and 3,100 rapes every year. The State ranks (a distant) 14th in development of infrastructure and 13th in law and order situation in the country. It clearly shows who is anti-people.”
“If the government claims that the CM’s grievance cell has reached people’s doorsteps, then why scores of people are forced to stage demonstrations in Bhubaneswar,” questioned Suraj.
Congress leader Sudarsan Das said, “I am surprised the way a leader like Naveen Patnaik is terming the Opposition as anti-people. I urge him to respect democracy. The Opposition brings to the fore the loopholes of the government.”
Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “I want to ask those who are claiming that they are winning on development whether they know the meaning of development.”
A State or a country prospers if there is development of education. The CM should know this elementary thing. “The CM should not speak by reading out a piece of paper and his statement is not based on facts,” Mishra added.
BJP State spokesperson Anil Biswal said, “The CM is calling the Opposition anti-people. But anti-people are in CM’s own party.”