Amit Shah, Naveen Patnaik
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Bhubaneswar on Saturday | Pic: Twitter/ANI

‘Burnt transformer’ to ‘role model’: Shah’s change of heart after BJD support

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who in 2019 felt the BJD government in Odisha was a “jala hua transformer” (burnt-out transformer), now believes it is a role model for the rest of the county when it comes to dealing with disasters and Maoists. So, what has changed in the meantime? Answer: the BJD has announced its opposition to the no-confidence motion against the NDA government and its support to it on the Delhi services Bill.

The BJP stalwart, while sharing the dais with Patnaik in an official programme on Saturday (August 5), hailed Naveen Patnaik as “popular” and hailed him for becoming the chief minister for five times in a row. “Patnaik has created a record by becoming the chief minister of Odisha for five times in a row. He is a popular chief minister,” Shah said.

War against Maoists

Shah, who is considered the second-in-command in the central government, as well as in the ruling BJP, missed no opportunity to praise Patnaik. He praised Patnaik and the BJD government for the decline in Maoist violence and their influence in the state.

“The Odisha government and Naveen-babu have always supported the Centre in combating Naxals,” Shah said, adding that the Centre was committed to root out Naxalism from the country. “Odisha has also adopted innovative methods for disaster management and has, therefore, emerged as a role model for the country,” he said.

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Stating that natural disasters are a major problem in Odisha, Shah said, “I would like to thank Naveen ji again for helping the Centre by implementing all the disaster management initiatives in the state.”

“The state government also implemented its own disaster management initiatives and became a model for the country in calamity management. If two governments work in tandem, natural calamities can also be contained,” he said.

Odisha and cyclones

Shah said the cyclones of Odisha were once infamous and many people used to get killed. “However, when cyclones hit Odisha now, there is almost zero casualty. The entire world has noticed this,” the Union Home Minister pointed out in his 15-minute speech.

Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through NDRF and NDM, has made disaster management a practice of the governance. The Odisha government has supported this initiative also,” he said.

Also read: Naveen Patnaik: No possibility of Third Front; BJD to go alone in 2024 LS polls

Patnaik, on his part, thanked the central government for supporting Odisha’s growth.

Shah’s praise is significant, as it comes barely days after the BJD supporting the Centre on the Delhi services Bill and announcing its opposition to the no-confidence motion against the Modi government. BJD, which claims to maintain equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress, has been criticised by the Congress and the AAP over these decisions.

(With agency inputs)

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