Pradeep Pattanayak

If the size of crowd at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s roadshows in Bhubaneswar is compared with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's, many believe that the popularity of the Chief Minister in on the wane. 

Crowd turn-out at PM and CM's roadshows 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a roadshow in Bhubaneswar on May 10 evening. The 2.5 km-long roadshow started from the BJP party office and concluded at Vani Vihar. Every inch of the space behind the barricade was occupied. A large number of people turned up well before the scheduled time of the roadshow and waited anxiously to have a glimpse of the Prime Minister.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has so far held three roadshows in Bhubaneswar. These roadshows witnessed a thin crowd turnout. 

From this, many opine that the popularity of PM Modi in Odisha is on the rise and that of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is on the wane. 

CM's Popularity 

“His post is there. But, he (Naveen Patnaik) is no longer the Chief Minister. The people of Odisha have already understood it. So they don’t have any interest to see him,” said BJP’s candidate for Bhubaneswar Central Assembly constituency, Jagannath Pradhan. 

Also Read: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik held hostage, should be freed: BJP

Narrating how people were brought to make the roadshow look like a crowded one, a Bhubaneswar resident said, “There were some local people. Later, I saw 10 to 12 buses come here and the people got down from them and stood along the road.”

BJP National Vice President Baijayant Panda in his X post also said that the CM has no longer his earlier magic. 

“The magic is gone, very poor attendance at CM's rallies & road shows. The public is hugely negative about a non-Odia holding the mic & always prompting CM what to say. To compensate, this outsider is issuing AI-powered, computer-generated #DeepFake videos, purportedly of CM. He's hoping these "no prompting" videos will fool the public & recreate the lost magic. Separately, he's also holding rallies of his own, attacking state & national BJP leaders. You can see the lack of public at these events, only sullen SHG women were compelled to be there. The assault on Odia ethos & self-respect, & massive crime & corruption, have finally resulted in massive anti-incumbency. The desperation is palpable,” read Baijayant Panda's post on X. 

Taking the side of his party, BJD spokesperson Swayam Prakash Mohapatra said, “Don’t ask the Opposition’s question. Go and see for yourself to get the answer.”

“He is hardly speaking anything in meetings. You might have noticed that he is saying four to five garbled sentences in every meeting. He repeats the same sentences wherever he is going,” said Rajaram Satapathy, a senior journalist.

OTV News is now on Whatsapp

Join and get latest news update delivered to you via whatsapp

Join Now