**Bhubaneswar: ** While BJP rank and file are in an upbeat mood as their saffron party’s numero uno poster boy-cum-icon Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Odisha on Saturday (May 26) to address a public meeting at Cuttack city, BJD supremo-cum-Odisha’s four-time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday exuded confidence that PM Modi’s this Odisha tour will also have no impact on the BJP’s prospects in Odisha nor on the people.
On being queried by media if he (Naveen Patnaik) thinks PM Modi’s repeated Odisha visits will make BJP stronger in Odisha, pat came the reply by the four-time conquerer-cum-regional satrap, “I don’t think so.”
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, senior journalist and poll pundit Prabhu Kalyan Mohaptra opined, “As election is inching near, whatever activities are being undertaken aims at bagging votes. In that context, Narendra Modi’s tomorrow Cuttack tour is a part and parcel of it. For the last four years, BJP-ruled Central Government’s success news is being regularly highlighted by news channel, other media and ‘Maan Ki Baat’. What will the Prime Minister speak out more?”
He stated, “Scores of claims like 120, 150 may be uttered. But, reality lies in the activities undertaken. BJP had achieved some electoral success in the Panchayat polls. It was an outcome of weak Congress st-up in Odisha. Hence, the rural voters had found BJP as an alternative and tilted towards it. However, Bijepur poll result was very disappointing for both BJP and Congress.”
“When BJP is winning 10 seats in Odisha, eying for 120 seats is synonymous with day dream,” remarked the senior poll analyst.
On the other hand, convening a press meet at the Odisha BJP Headquarters here on the eve of PM Modi’s much-awaited visit, BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “The Prime Minister will present before the nation his four-year-old report card at Cuttack tomorrow.”
“55% of all the new bank accounts opened in the world in the last four years are in India. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is very significant in Odisha context. It’s an extremely visionary scheme. We are aware of the fact how one crore houses have been built. There will be no head left out deprived of roof by 2022. Keeping an eye on it, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is acting accordingly,” Patra claimed.
Taking a potshot at the ruling BJD, the senior BJP leader commented, “Despite having ruled for the past long 20 years, Naveen Babu is putting question to others. I would like to ask Naveen Babu very humbly, he should present his report card of 20-year-old rule. Ruling merely for four years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presenting his report card every year. Tomorrow also he will do it so. It is matter of pride and glory for us that the latest report he is presenting from Cuttack, from the soil of Odisha.”
The BJP national spokesperson questioned, “Has Naveen Patnaik till date presented his report card even for a year amid his long years of rule?”
Reacting to it, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patanaik remarked, “Modi has been presenting his report card for the last four years. Which one is true? What promise given in BJP’s election manifesto has been kept by him? He has betrayed the people of India.”
BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra defended, “Between 2000 and 2018, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik has always presented his report card before the people of Odisha. He has also passed in 2004, 2009 and 2014. And also you will see the same in 2019. So the mandate of the people of Odisha speaks volume.”
“Question now arises on what report card the incumbent Central Government is going to put forth. Today the people of Odisha are in an awry. Be it price rise of commodities and fuel, Mahanadi issue, BJP has failed in each and every issue. The people of Odisha will decide on the veracity of BJP’s report card to be presented tomorrow,” quipped the BJD spokesperson.
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