Bhubaneswar: In the backdrop of Odisha’s ruling BJD announcing its opposition to the no-confidence motion against the NDA government at the Centre, BJP stalwart and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday called Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as “popular” and hailed him for becoming the CM for five times in a row.
Shah, who in 2019 had referred the BJD government as a “jala hua transformer” (burnt out transformer), while sharing dais with Patnaik in an official programme said, “Patnaik has created the record of becoming the chief minister of Odisha for five times in a row. He is a popular chief minister.” Shah, who is considered as the No. 2 in the central government as well as in the ruling BJP, apparently missed no opportunity to praise Patnaik.
The Union minister also praised the chief minister and the BJD government for the decline in naxal violence and Maoist influence in the state.
“Odisha government and Naveen Babu have always supported the Centre to combat naxals,” Shah said, adding the Centre is committed to root out naxalism from the country.
“Odisha has adopted innovative methods for disaster management and has therefore emerged as a role model for the country,” he said.
Stating that natural disaster is a major problem in Odisha, Shah said, “I would like to again thank Naveen ji for helping the Centre by implementing all the disaster management initiatives in the state.” “The state government also implemented its own disaster management initiatives and became a model for the country in calamity management. If two governments work in tandem, then natural calamities can also be contained,” he said.
He said the cyclones of Odisha were once infamous and many people used to get killed.
“However, when cyclones hit Odisha now, there is almost zero casualty. The entire world has also witnessed this,” the Union home minister pointed out in his 15-minute speech.
Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi through NDRF and NDM has made disaster management a practice of the governance. “Odisha government has supported this initiative also,” he said.
Patnaik on his part thanked the central government for supporting Odisha’s growth.
Shah’s praise is considered significant as it came barely few days after the Odisha’s ruling BJD supported the central government on the Delhi Service Bill and also announced to oppose the no-confidence motion against the Modi government.
BJD, which claimed to be maintaining equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress, however, was criticised by the Congress and AAP leaders over its decision to support the Delhi Bill and oppose the no-confidence motion.