Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 10:
In a curious case, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) Odisha unit today demanded resignation of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the language issue and said that it would support BJD Vice President Damodar Rout, if he becomes the new Chief Minister.
Students’ Congress, as it is also known, has been fiercely critical of Naveen of late because of his inability to speak Odia and have been conducting marches and rallies to teach Patnaik the language of the state.
“The Chief Minister doesn’t even know how to show respect to his mother tounge, this land and its people. He should resign immediately from the moral point of view. We also demand that BJD Vice President Damodar Rout be made the next Chief Minister. Students’ Congress will welcome it. We want a Chief Minister who can speak Odia,” said NSUI Odisha Chief Itish Pradhan speaking to reporters today.
Minister Rout, as expected, played the card to his favour. The seasoned politician – long known to be unhappy over the lost clout in the party and the government — on one hand thanked Congress and on the other he took a jibe at his party affairs while announcing unconditional support for his party chief.
“If some people think that I am capable of being a good Chief Minister, I will obviously thank them for reposing their faith in me. With all my experience in politics and governance, I believe, I will make it a good chief minister if I am selected to the post someday. However, in BJD, the party decides who becomes the chief minister and I possess no ambition or cravings for posts. Naveen Patnaik is my leader,” said Rout.
He, however, was quick to take a potshot at Patnaik for not giving him enough and important work as compared to the new generation leaders and ministers.
“The juniors are the new senior in the party. I would have obliged, if the Chief Minister called me and asked me to take care of the business before leaving for Delhi. However, the new generation ministers were called. I don’t know why he did so. May be you should ask him,” Rout added when grilled by reporters over being sidelined in the party and the government.