Bhubaneswar, Dec 26:
Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik on Thursday gave the clearest possible hint yet that his party would be part of the proposed Third Front in the 2014 elections.
“The corrupt Congress and the communal BJP are weakening the country. There is a need for a secular and transparent government in Delhi,” Patnaik said addressing party workers at the 17th Foundation Day celebrations of the BJD at the party headquarters here this afternoon.
The party supremo said though the BJD has won three consecutive Assembly elections in the state, there was no room for complacency. “We must keep working hard to fulfil the aspirations of the four crore people of Odisha,” he said.
Patnaik stressed that winning elections was not an end in itself, but a means to fulfil the aspirations of the people. “I shall keep working for the people of the state whether there is somebody with me or not,” he said in his customary speech read out from a piece of paper written in Roman script with plenty of English words thrown in.
Addressing the gathering, party vice president and Health minister Damodar Rout sang paeans to the party chief saying the party had only one leader and it was Naveen Patnaik.
In his speech, former Finance minister Prafulla Ghadei expressed surprise at critics claiming that the state had not made much progress during the BJD regime. He said the while the total plan outlay stood at Rs 2,100 crore when Naveen assumed charge as the chief minister of the state, it had now reached Rs 21,000 crore adding that the state’s growth rate, at 9.8 percent, had been much higher than the national average.
Continuing with the outpouring of sycophancy, BJD vice president and Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya said the party would break the record of Jyoti Basu, who served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000, making him the longest-serving Chief Minister of any state of India.
“Since no national party will get absolute majority in the ensuing 2014 elections, BJD, together with other regional parties, will decide the fate of the country. BJD will play the king maker role in the national politics. Odisha will play a pivotal role in the development of India,” said Acharya.
Not to miss out on an opportunity for the customary Centre-bashing, the Finance minister said; “We will control Delhi and not live on its mercy.”
Another BJD vice-president and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das heaped praise on the Chief Minister for launching various schemes for the people of Odisha wished that Naveen Patnaik will continue as Chief Minister of Odisha till he dies.
Senior party leaders, ministers, MLAs, MPs and party workers gathered at the party headquarters in large numbers to celebrate the occasion.