Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: Around a fortnight after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik slammed the leaders of the national parties in Odisha as voiceless, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday reacted to the CM's comments in a sarcastic manner and said that his remarks will give him the impetus to work hard for the interest of the State.

While addressing a gathering during the Freedom Fighter's Day celebration here, Pradhan said, "The Chief Minister had recently made a remark that Odia leaders in national parties are voiceless before the national leaders. If the Chief Minister of my State gives such a certificate, it would help me work hard for the people of Odisha. I am taking the responsibility today to work with such a direction that I can put forth the demands of Odia people before Modi Ji," Pradhan said.

Backing Pradhan, senior Congress MLA Suresh Routray hit out at the Chief Minister and said, "Naveen doesn't know about the national parties and their works, unlike his father whose political life started from a national party. Naveen is just running the State with 5-6 servants (bureaucrats). Why should we blame Dharmendra for not working for the State? Congress MLA Suresh Routray said.

The BJD too jumped into the matter saying that the efforts of the Naveen Patnaik government for the State are known to everyone.

"Odisha government does not need to prove itself to anyone as its steps for the welfare of the State are clearly visible. The state government is not taking any matter casually. Needless to explain that the entire nation is aware of the leadership of Naveen Patnaik and his efforts for the welfare of the State," BJD national spokesperson Prasanna Acharya said.

It is worth mentioning that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently said that leaders from the State in national parties have no voice to raise the issues of Odisha at the national level.

While addressing the meeting of Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) recently, Patnaik had said that State leaders of national parties neither have the voice to insist on protecting the unique heritage of Odisha nor do they have the intent to do so in a hierarchical centralized national party structure. BJD is the only regional party that is working hard to preserve and promote the unique identity of Odisha.