**Bhubaneswar: ** In response to BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s recent statement that he believes more in developmental activities than number game, senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Tuesday criticised him and said that the regional satrap has to accept the harsh reality of number game in a democracy.
In his media reactions, the saffron party’s seasoned leader remarked, “If he (Naveen Patnaik) doesn’t believe in number game, let him explain if at all he believes in the present number of MLA seats he has won. Every one believes in number. Number runs a democracy. The party who wins majority number of seats forms government.”
“Their (BJD’s) number is gradually declining. Our (BJP’s) number is going up and up. We’ll win 120+ in the 2019 elections,” he stressed.
The BJP leader contended, “He (Naveen Patnaik) has downplayed our number target in a bid to send a message among the public that he is least impacted by our number game.”
“When Dama Rout announced that they are ready for alliance with Congress, Naveen Babu’s devious statement is of no use,” Jual Oram ridiculed and quipped, “Ground reality is that their party (BJD) is sinking down while BJP is soaring on.”
On the contrary, ruling BJD vice-president and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout retorted, “Chief Minister doesn’t believe in their (BJP’s) 120 target. We rather believe in our target of 117-125. But, we’re not publicising or trumpetting. We’re a regional party and believe in working for the people. Naveen Patnaik does not nurse any ambition of conquering Delhi or becoming Prime Minister. Our Chief Minister wishes to make Odisha a number one State. Accordingly, he has tightened up his belt for the developmental stream here.”
Rout argued, “Days ago I had put forth before media the data evincing developmental pace in our State. That’s why he (CM Naveen) has stated that he doesn’t believe in propaganda or number game. We’re working for the people and hence in return people are casting votes in our favour. Thus in the next election, people are believed to cast more votes in our favour.”
The seasoned BJD leader quipped, “Is there anything wrong in his (Naveen Patnaik’s) statement?”