Bhubaneswar [Odisha], Dec 26 (ANI): Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday slammed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's decision of aligning with the regional parties, in order to challenge the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the 2019 general elections.
During the founding celebrations of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Pradhan told ANI: "I first congratulate them for completing 20 years of their existence. Their existence is very good for a democracy."
However, he warned: "I heard Naveen babu (Patnaik) has hinted on allying with regional parties. He wants to ally with Mamata Di (Chief Minister of West Bengal), whose party is embroiled in the chit fund scam, or another scam hit Lalu Yadav? Their motive is to upstage our government at the Centre led by Modi ji (Narendra Modi). The nation will give them a fitting reply."
On being asked about the poor performance of Odisha in most parameters, Pradhan admitted that the state was way behind others in terms of development.
He said, "Naveen babu (Patnaik) has ruled for the last 17 years. He has disappointed and fooled the people. There are so many problems being faced starting from doctors, farmers, education and the lower strata of the society. If he can't address these, it shows that he's incompetent."
The union minister urged the Odisha chief minister to look into these problems and address them quickly in the interest of the public.
Odisha goes to polls in 2019. (ANI)