Saswat Singhdeo

Balasore: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the exit of Naveen Patnaik is certain, the BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister today hit back at the PM saying that Modi never stood with people of the State in difficult times.

"PM Modi did not come to Odisha when the State suffered huge losses in past due to Phailin & Titli-like natural calamities, but he is visiting the State now during elections and is shedding crocodile tears," Patnaik said.

The Odisha CM also took a dig at PM Modi's comment that he would visit Odisha to witness the formation of BJP govt in the State and said that BJD has already secured majority in the Odisha elections. "I invite the PM to attend our swearing-in ceremony," said Patnaik.

Responding to Patnaik's comments, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Prime Minister visited Odisha in the past to inspect and inaugurate several developmental projects. Pradhan added that even PM Modi took the Odisha CM along with him during the inauguration of several welfare programmes.

"Who extended a helping hand to the kin of Bargarh farmer Brunda Sahoo who committed suicide? The PM even took CM Naveen along with him for inauguration of several projects. People of Odisha have lost faith in Naveen and will bring PM to power in a democratic manner," Pradhan said in a video message.

Moreover, while campaigning for Mayurbhanj BJP candidate in Jashipur, Pradhan targeted CM Naveen alleging mismanagement in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana & old age pension scheme in the State and questioned Naveen whether people of Odisha are really getting benefits from KALIA scheme.