Odisha BJP leader says, 'Patnaik became CM with our blessings', sparks row

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Nayak, however, retracted his comments a few hours later, asserting that the BJP continues to be the Opposition party.

The BJD and the BJP fought the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state in April-May as bitter rivals. (Photo: File)

Bhubaneswar: Pradipta Nayak, a senior BJP leader and leader of the Opposition in Odisha Assembly, sparked a row on Wednesday after her said that the saffron party helped Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik come to power once again. He also said that the Centre has been generous in giving funds to the state due to BJP’s “blessings” for Patnaik, reported News18.

Nayak, however, retracted his comments a few hours later, asserting that the BJP continues to be the Opposition party and would keep raising its voice against the BJD government’s “bad governance and illegal activities”.

“We (BJP) have made Naveen babu the chief minister. We had done it earlier too. He is the chief minister due to our blessings and due to our shoulders,” Nayak said.

He also added: “We (BJP) have good relations with Naveen babu. There are no issues between us. The central government has its blessings on Naveen babu. Why else would the Centre be giving so much funds? It is certainly because of the BJP’s continuing blessings for him that more funds are being given compared to other states.”

Nayak’s remarks created ripples across political circles in Bhubaneswar and New Delhi. The BJD and the BJP fought the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state in April-May as bitter rivals. The BJD retained power in the state by winning more than a two-third majority in the Assembly (112 out of 147 seats). Of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the BJD won 12 while the BJP bagged eight.

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