Patnaik hits out at BJP’s double engine slogan, says good governance matters

Naveen Patnaik
Naveen Patnaik. File photo: Twitter/Naveen Patnaik

BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday made a veiled attack on the BJP, which lost the Karnataka Assembly poll, and said it is good governance and not a double engine government that can help a party win election.

Patnaik chose to make the comment at the celebration by BJD, the party he heads, after its candidates win at the Jharsuguda by-poll on Saturday. Refraining from naming any party, Patnaik said, Single engine or double engine does not matter. From people’s point of view, governance is important. Good governance and pro-people governance always win.

BJP had made double engine (BJP government at the state and the Centre) its slogan in Karnataka.

Patnaiks veiled criticism of the double engine government is considered politically important as the opposition BJP has for long lured the people of Odisha with accelerated development if they voted the party to power in the state. Statements in support of it had been made in the past in the state by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Patnaik’s comment came after his long silence on the BJP slogan, which takes center stage in all Assembly elections. The saffron party’s drubbing in Karnataka appears to have provided him the opportunity to speak out against it. Patnaik has helmed the state since 2000 after quitting the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and parted ways with BJP in 2009.

His comment came two days after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday. After the meeting, he reaffirmed his party’s policy to go it alone and maintain equidistance both from BJP and the Congress, at least before the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly poll in 2024. The meeting with the prime minister in the national capital took place barely 48 hours after Patnaiks meeting with his old friend Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, who visited him.

Patnaik, when asked had said there is no possibility of a Third Front as far as he was concerned and that BJD will contest the elections next year without any national ambition.

On Saturday BJD candidate, 26-year-old Dipali Das trounced rival BJP candidate Tankadhar Tripathy by a margin of over 48,000 votes in Jharsuguda, where the by-poll was held after her father Naba Kishore Das, who was a minister in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet, was killed.

Reacting to Pataik’s statement, the president of BJP in Odisha Manmohan Samal said, The chief minister is now talking about good governance in the state. Everybody knows how the government functions in Odisha.

“He (Patnaik) is also speaking of double engine as he is aware that BJP will form the government next time,” he claimed.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)