**Bhubaneswar:** Elated at the promising results in the ongoing three-tier Panchayat polls in Odisha, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday expressed his gratitude to the people of Odisha as BJP keeps on emerging as an alternative and tough competitor for the ruling BJD as evident from the outcome of third phase elections.
In his media reactions he remarked, “The people of Odisha have dismissed an inefficient, paralysed, anti-poor and corrupt government.”
“Various welfare schemes introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially demonetisation, have been endorsed by the people of Odisha that is evident from the ongoing Panchayat poll results. This trend will also continue in the fourth and fifth phase,” said the Union Minister exuding confidence, who is deemed to be the poster boy of BJP in Odisha.
Reacting to BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera’s allegation of misusing IOCL, the Petroleum Minister said, “Behera only reads what are given to him by the bureaucrats, after some time he will say that we are against Odia people, I fear those who are shameless.”
“The results show that BJP has reached into the houses of the poor,” Dharmendra Pradhan quipped.
Reacting sharply to the statements of the Union Petroleum Minister, BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera burst, “I don’t deem it fit to keep a reply on the dramatic statements by the BJP leader. Rather the saffron party should realise its pathetic situation as it had to rope in Central leaders, even Chief Ministers and ex-Chief Ministers of neighbouring States for the campaign while on the other hand, our block and panchayat level leaders are bravely facing the five-phase Panchayat polls.”
“Results of two phases still remain. BJD is number one and will remain number one. There is no need to be so exalted. After all, the Samiti Members and Sarpanchs, having won the polls, still support Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,” the BJD spokesperson remarked.