Modi’s ‘Customary’ Exchange Of Pleasantries With Pratap Sarangi Evokes Speculations

**Bhubaneswar:** Pratap Sarangi is one of the most promising leaders of the BJP in Odisha. The two-time MLA from Nilagiri, is often seen rubbing shoulders with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whenever the latter is on a trip to the State.

So much so that Modi never misses out on engaging in a tete-a-tete with Sarangi, however packed be the Prime Minister’s schedule. The Khurda public meeting was no deviation from this practice.

After completing his speech at the Khurda public meeting, Modi was greeted by Sarangi and the PM was customarily tied up in a brief conversation with him.

In September this year, when Modi laid the foundation of Talcher Fertiliser Plant, Sarangi was the centre of attraction at the podium because the PM’s interest in him.

To count instances from the close past, Sarangi’s bonhomie with Modi became evident during BJP’s National Executive meet held one and a half years back in Bhubaneswar.

If sources are to be believed, Sarangi’s proximity to Modi has left at least half a dozen State BJP leaders disgruntled. Earlier, when Union Minister backed the candidature of his cabinet colleague Dharmendra Pradhan as CM, Sarangi chose to differ.

“The State unit of BJP has many potential leaders who can become the Chief Minister,” Sarangi said.

In April 2017, after landing in Bhubaneswar Modi was greeted by a host of BJP leaders at the airport. But the Prime Minister chose to share light moments with Sarangi.

An RSS old-timer, Sarangi also spent quality time with senior leaders such as LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Yogi Adityanath during the National Executive.

“Modi is a man who often confounds with his political overtures. He acknowledges Sarangi as a selfless leader. It may not be surprise if Sarangi, a grounded and non-corrupt leader, is projected as the CM candidate of Odisha,” a senior political analyst said.