Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 20:
In a rather belated reaction to Narendra Modi’s jibe about his failure to prevent migration from the state, Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik on Thursday hit back fiercely at the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate accusing him of ‘insulting’ Odisha.
“What he (Modi) has said is insulting to the people of Odisha. I am surprised that none of the BJP state leaders protested his comments,” Patnaik told a public meeting in Ganjam district.
He was referring to the BJP leader’s comment at a public meeting here on February 11 that most of the people migrating to Surat in Gujarat in search of jobs were from Ganjam, the Chief Minister’s own district. .
“Modi has been trying to divide people on the basis of states. This is not acceptable to the country and its people,” Patnaik said.
State BJP spokesman Suresh Pujari, however, defended his party’s Prime Ministerial candidate and repudiated Naveen’s claim that he insulted the people of Odisha.
“Modiji, on the other hand, acknowledged that Odia workers have made significant contributions towards the economic development of Gujarat,” Pujari said.
In an oblique reference to Naveen’s regime, Modi had said that it had made the people so poor during its 14-year long regime that they had no choice but to migrate out of the state in search of jobs.