Odisha CM not BJP’s enemy but political rival: Venkaiah Naidu

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not an enemy of BJP but its political rival.

“We are not enemies, we are political rivals. We can meet, greet and talk…. If we can talk to Pakistan, why not the leaders of BJP talk to BJD and Congress politicians? Politicians should not consider themselves as enemies, but as rivals,” he said at a function here.

“I would have met the Chief Minister had I enough time. We are friends though we belong to different political parties,” Naidu said.

The BJP leader’s statement is significant as the supporters of the ruling BJD and BJP clashed with each other in different parts of the state recently.

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While a BJD MLA has been accused of engineering attack on Union Minister Santosh Gangwar’s car in June, police in Boudh district have registered a case against another MLA for allegedly thrashing BJP supporters.

Naidu also took a dig at a number of schemes like free mangalsutra and free power by several state governments.

“Some people say free, free and free. Free power means low power and this subsequently turns to be no power. There is no free power in Gujarat, but 24×7 power,” he said.

“My father-in-law had given mangalsutra during my marriage. Now the Chief Minister will give mangalsutra. This is simply the Vote Sutra,” Naidu said.

The Union Minister said the government should make people skilled and able to earn on their own so that they are empowered both socially and economically.