Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a television interview to a national media aired this evening said there is no truth in the allegations that his government is being run by bureaucrats.
Naveen termed these reports “baseless” during the interview, as part of a series of interviews to regional and national media on the occasion of the 20th foundation day of his party.
“I think the suggestion is ridiculous”, he said, adding, “I’m as much in charge as I was before; allegations of bureaucrats running govt are baseless.”
Answering a a question what helped the BJD winning four successive terms in Odisha, Patnaik said: “The performance of our party, developmental work, welfare programmes are responsible for bringing us back for the fourth term.”
When asked about his colleague and the Lok Sabha MP Baijayant “Jay” Panda’s Op-Ed article shortly after the rural polls criticising the BJD leadership, saying it was being run by “opportunists”, and asking for the party to introspect, Patnaik said that is incorrect.”I think that’s completely incorrect. It’s quite baseless in fact”, he added.
Asked whether the BJP was trying to woo Panda before the Assembly elections before the Assembly elections, Patnaik said: “No, no, no. There’s no fear of that”, he said, adding “There are no divisions in the party.”
Denying his party feeling any threat after BJP has emerged as a force to reckon with post Panchayat election results, Naveen appears unaffected. “I don’t think it (the BJP ‘wave’) is going to have any effect in Odisha”, he said.
Reiterating his stand that his party will go solo in 2019 elections, the BJD chief ruled out any alliance ahead of general and state elections. “We remain equidistant from the BJP and the Congress”, he said.
When asked to rate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said “As a PM people voted him in, full of promise. Let us see. There’s still time to see what happens.”