Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

An emotional statement by Odisha Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reportedly gone viral over various social media platforms on Wednesday.

As per reports, during a pension distribution programme at Athagarh Mahotsav Ground, local MLA Swain urged the people to vote for BJD by saying, “Naveen Patnaik has nobody. His parents are no more and he does not have children. Even when he dies, there is no one to light his funeral pyre.”

“4.5 crore Odia people are his family. He has taken everybody in his stride. Please give your support to him. This is my only request to you,” said an emotional Swain while bursting into tears.

However, as per political analysts, Swain played the emotional card to assuage the political infighting within his own party members in the constituency and to woo voters to vote for BJD.

“Swain understands politics pretty well. Naveen Patnaik is his last trump card. He wants to appeal to people to vote for BJD by using the name of Patnaik,” said senior journalist Rabi Das.

Meanwhile, Opposition BJP slammed Swain by terming the act as ‘pretension’.

“There should not be pretension everywhere. If Naveen is saying that 4.5 crore Odia people are his family, he should have given the responsibility of the State to one of them. Why he has given that responsibility to somebody else from Tamil Nadu? Had he given Swain the responsibility, we would have been happy. I was also working with the Biju family. Can they say why did I leave the party? This is pretension and BJD’s time has come to an end,” said BJP leader Debasis Nayak.

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“It’s not a slip of the tongue. This was a drama and pretension to woo voters and do vote bank politics. Swain is a strong leader. He should not pretend like this to woo voters. People don’t like this kind of drama anymore,” he added.