After poll debacles, BJD leaders make desperate efforts to upkeep Naveen’s brand image

Bhubaneswar: Leaders of Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are now seemingly making desperate attempts to upkeep the brand image of party president and outgoing chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

These leaders and their followers — both in their respective constituencies and social media platforms — have begun to portray him as “visionary leader” who served with a mission to develop the state. Besides, they have launched a campaign saying that Naveen, even after his defeat in the polls, rules in the hearts of people.

“Naveen Patnaik was the No.1 and the most popular CM in India. Naveen Babu still rules the hearts of all the Odia people," said BJD leader Pratap Jena.

The BJP took a dig at Patnaik by saying that he can't escape by blaming others for BJD's poll debacle.

“Who had given appointment to V Karthikeyan Pandian who was on a looting spree in Odisha? Who helped Pandian? Both Pandian and Naveen are equally responsible for the situation. They (BJD leaders) are doing drama over the matter which will not help them anymore. Naveen Patnaik is mainly responsible for it," said BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra.

V Karthikeyan Pandian, a Tamil Nadu-born bureaucrat who joined BJP just on the recently held general elections, was handling the BJD party affairs and indirectly running the government.

"The BJD leaders are proffering a weak narrative for self-defence. No one will believe such a baseless story. Many people have told me that Duryodhan had no fault as Shakuni misguided him. However, Duryodhan had the freedom to choose Shakuni as his guide or any other character. If Arjun chose Srikrishna, why did Duryodhan choose Shakuni? Who had given the power to Pandian? Had people chosen Naveen Patnaik or Pandian as the Chief Minister? A government servant tried to make the people of Odisha his servants and treated BJD's Ministers and MPs as servants. Couldn't Naveen understand it?" asked BJP leader Pratap Sarangi.

On Thursday, newly elected BJD MLAs and senior leaders of the party met Naveen Patnaik at his residence where they discussed the poll debacle. Many of the top leaders told the outgoing CM that over-reliance on Pandian was the major cause of the party losing power to the BJP in the state.

The BJD won 51 of the 147 assembly seats while the BJP bagged 78. In the Lok Sabha polls, the regional party drew black. The BJP got 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state while the Congress managed to retain the lone seat it won in 2019.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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