**Bhubaneswar: ** Former Rajya Sabha member and senior BJD leader Baishnab Parida’s jibe at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for not knowing Odia as well as ignoring Odia language and despite that in power in Odisha has evoked sharp reactions from the ruling BJD.
BJD vice-president and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout: “In comparison with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s depth in Odia language, Baishnab Parida is less.”
“He (Baishnab Parida) was in Communist Party. Switched over to Samajwadi Party. Then defected to Biju Janata Dal (BJD). He used to say earlier there is no match to Naveen Babu as a Chief Minister in India. Now speaks ill of him (Naveen Patnaik) after his Rajya Sabha term ended,” lambasted the veteran BJD leader.
Notably, four-time Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on Tuesday vehemently criticised by senior BJD leader Baishnab Parida for ruling Odisha without knowing Odia.
His reportedly scathing remarks against BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were made at Sambalpur on Tuesday during a meeting on Odia culture and tradition there.
The former Rajya Sabha member of ruling BJD heads ‘Bhasha Surakhya Sammilani’ which is an outfit that champions protection of Odia language and literature.
Parida in his media reactions at Sambalpur on the day burst, “Those who can’t speak Odia, irrespective of being a Minister or CM, have no right to rule the people of Odisha. It would have been different had Naveen Patnaik been a normal citizen. Since he is the people’s representative, he must respect our mother tongue, literature, culture and tradition. If he wants to remain in power without knowing Odia, it is an insult to Odia community.”
The former Rajya Sabha member (BJD) from Odisha also told media that he also feel ashamed while conversing with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in English.
OMMCOM NEWS tried to contact Baishnab Parida for his further reactions on Rout’s statements, but could not be reached despite concerted efforts.