ANI Photo | “BJP should come up with innovative ideas”: VK Pandian slams party for insulting Naveen Patnaik

5T Chairman and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader VK Pandian on Friday targeted BJP for demeaning Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and said that the party should come up with innovative ideas.
Speaking with ANI, VK Pandian said, “I only hope that BJP comes with innovative ideas instead of talking about something non-existent. You are all watching the Chief Minister, it is very unfortunate, below the belt.”
The remarks of VK Pandian comes after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma raised serious concerns regarding the autonomy and well-being of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik alleging that VK Pandian effectively captured Patnaik, restricting his ability to interact independently.
Pandian, while speaking with ANI, added further, “The people of Odisha will not appreciate this kind of demeaning of the CM who enjoys such popularity among the people of Odisha. I only suggest letting them come up with something innovative. It is so substandard.”
A day earlier, Sarma had emphasized that as a Chief Minister, he travels alone, meets people freely, and is accessible to the media. In contrast, he noted that Patnaik is never seen without Pandian by his side.
“I am also a Chief Minister of a state, but I have come alone. I can speak alone, I can meet people, and people can meet me just like you all (media persons) are meeting me now. But the Chief Minister of Odisha cannot meet anyone alone, he cannot speak to people alone, and VK Pandian is always with him. One needs to find out whether Naveen Babu himself is with Pandian or if Pandian is playing some game, due to which Naveen Babu cannot get out of Pandian’s grip,” Sarma had said.
He had suggested that a High Court judge, a neutral figure, should speak to Patnaik privately to assess his well-being and ensure he is not under duress.
Notably, the assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha are taking place simultaneously. The elections are being held in four phases, from May 13 to June 1. Elections on 42 assembly segments and six Lok Sabha seats will be conducted on May 25, while elections on the remaining 42 assembly seats and six Lok Sabha seats will go for voting in the last phase on June 1.
The counting of votes will be held on June 4. In the last assembly elections in 2019, the BJD won 112 out of 146 seats. BJP won 23 seats and Congress got nine seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJD mopped up the lion’s share of the electoral spoils, with the BJP and the Congress bringing up the rear. The BJD won 12 seats, the BJP finished a close second at 8, and the Congress bagged just a lone seat

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