Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela on Thursday. However, Patnaik’s claim that the hockey stadium is ‘World’s Biggest Hockey Stadium’ has triggered a controversy with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioning its veracity.

As per reports, the Odisha government claimed the stadium in Rourkela to be the world’s biggest. 

On Thursday, CM Patnaik tweeted, “Birsa Munda Stadium, world’s biggest hockey stadium is now a reality in just 15 months… I am sure it will emerge as the best venue for field hockey in the world.” 

Later in the day, during a press meet in Rourkela, BJP MLA Shankar Oram questioned Patnaik’s claims and asserted that considering the seating capacity, Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium is 4th globally. 

“Today he (Naveen Patnaik) claimed it (stadium) to be number one in the world. It holds 4th rank with 20000-seating capacity. Chandigarh is placed above it with a 30000-seating capacity. Pakistan’s Lahore stadium has a capacity of 40000 seats. Even a stadium in Canada has around 35000 to 40000 seats. How it can become number one? I’m not able to get it on which grounds they are claiming it to be number one,” said Oram.