Is BJD trying to restore brand Naveen through ‘Make in Odisha’ Conclave?

Bhubaneswar: As Odisha government inaugurates the second edition of ‘Make In Odisha Conclave’, the State’s special flagship biennial business event, talks continue to make rounds that the ruling-BJD is trying to promote the image of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through the programme after the recent incidents of several corruption issues, ouster of top leaders and several protests against the State government.

Even as the five-day business conclave is scheduled to be attended by as many as 800 top investors, industry tycoons, and entrepreneurs from around the world, the BJD has left no stone unturned to promote the brand Naveen, said sources.

Experts opined that the posters of CM Naveen and advertisements are efforts by the State government to put forth the goodie image of the BJD supremo before investors visiting the State for the investors’ meet.

With elections round the corner, projection of corruption charges, percentage commission issue, chit fund scam, involvement of Pandian in party affairs, strike by teachers, farmers and lawyers, Abhijit Iyer row, Titli damages, Biju Yuva Vahini corruption on national level media has led to awkward situation for the ruling BJD and its president Naveen Patnaik. This apart, ouster of several top leaders who had tried to bring charges of corruption has also been problematic for the party.

Opposition claims as the image of Naveen Patnaik has been tarnished badly, the ‘Make In Odisha’ is just an attempt to keep his reputation intact.

“The ones who think that the visit of Ambani or Birla to Odisha will bring a change are just trying to camouflage and show off ahead of the elections. The Make in Odisha Conclave is just an attempt to arrange funds for election. But we are sure no matter how different and innovative they think to promote Naveen’s image, this time he will surely fail,” said Congress leader and former Union Minister Srikant Jena.

Similarly, BJP spokesperson Prithviraj Harichandan said, “The BJD knows very well that Naveen’s image has been tarnished over several issues so they are trying some political gimmicks like organising Make in Odisha conclave and Hockey World Cup to restore his image.”

However, the BJD has refuted the talks on tarnished image of Naveen Patnaik and has clarified that the conclave is only meant to upkeep interest of the State.

“When all states are competing to secure investments, does the Opposition want Odisha should stop trying. As per their allegations, if we say that BJP was trying to clean the tarnished image of former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by organising Vibrant Gujarat, will they agree?,” BJD vice president Debi Mishra questioned.