Odisha Politics: Modi Provokes; Pandian Responds

TNI Bureau: Following the repeated attacks by PM Modi on CM Naveen Patnaik as well as him, BJD leader VK Pandian finally broke his silence and countered him with the objective of ‘offense is the best defense’. Pandian chose to hit Modi, invoking Gujarat. The message is loud and clear. “We are confident and ready to fight if you challenge us”.

Pandian raises the issue of price rise, fuel price hike and Kandhamal riots. He did not mince words to call BJP a riot party and even claimed that BJP ruled states are witnessing disturbances and communal riots. Pandian also challenged Modi, mocking his Gujarat model and categorically said that Odisha stays way ahead of Gujarat on many development parameters.

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Pandian advised Modi to focus on National issues and fight to form government at the centre, while leaving Odisha to BJD. He even invited him to the “swearing-in ceremony” of Naveen Patnaik on June 10 and urged him to announce special package in the best interest of the state on the same day.

While countering Modi on behalf of his mentor Naveen Patnaik, Pandian sent a message that neither his party nor Naveen will accept such below-the-belt remarks against their supremo even if it comes from the mighty Modi. So far, Pandian and BJD leaders have maintained discipline and never crossed the line while dealing with the cental BJP. But, today’s development has triggered the political pundits in the state too.

It would be interesting to see how Modi-Shah respond to VK Pandian’s counter attack and how it will impact the elections in Odisha in 2024. Are we going to witness an ugly battle? Let’s wait and watch.

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