Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s comments of a ‘Nabakalebar’ (complete change) of the Odisha government from Puri sparked off a war of words between BJD and BJP with the stronghold constituency of the regional party being at its epicentre.
Saying that may Lord Jagannath take care of a wayward BJP, BJD spokesperson Arun Sahoo said "‘Nabakalebar' is only associated with Lord Jagannath. If an individual or a party assumes himself as Lord Jagannath, then God will decide on such waywardness."
BJD MLA from Puri and Minister Maheswar Mohanty dared Pradhan to prove his mettle by contesting elections from the constituency.
"I urge him to contest from Puri Assembly constituency if he wants to become the Chief Minister. Then only it will be known who will end up in the Bay of Bengal," said Mohanty.
On Friday, Dharmendra on the sidelines of Gau-Navaratra Mahotsav in Puri, said that people have made up their minds to see a 'Nabakalebar' of the government by throwing this incapable, inefficient and corrupt government into Bay of Bengal. He further stated that Puri will be the epicentre of that 'Nabakalebar' (big change).
BJD vice president and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout who is best known for his tongue-in-cheek responses too jumped on to the bandwagon terming Pradhan as an adopted son of Bihar.
"He (Dharmendra Pradhan) is measuring his height by standing on a haystack without knowing the consequences of someone setting it on fire. He is born and brought up in Odisha. Why he was rejected by the people of his own constituency? He is an adopted son of Bihar. What does he know about Odisha,” Rout said.
However, BJP backed Pradhan with Union HRD Minister and BJP's Puri in-charge, Prakash Javadekar justifying, "What Dharmendra said about a big change in Odisha is absolutely true. Puri, where BJD has a stronghold will ultimately turn out to be the 'Panipat' for the regional party."