VK Pandian not my successor, BJD to form govt in Odisha: Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik today clarified that party leader VK Pandian is not his successor, and the people of the state will decide about it. Patnaik’s clarification holds significance as Opposition parties in Odisha have been accusing Pandian of projecting himself as the successor of Patnaik.

In an interview with news agency ANI, the CM also exuded confidence that the BJD will form government in the state. “I see very handsome results in the state elections. We will form a solid government again in the state. In Parliament, we will have a very good majority,” he said.

Commenting on allegations by Opposition and former BJD leaders that Pandian was taking decisions on the behalf of the CM, Patnaik said, “This is ridiculous, and I have said it often before that this is an old allegation, and it holds no weight.”

On being asked whether Pandian was being put above other BJD leaders, the Chief Minister replied, “I find all of this quite nonsensical. Party members have a great say, they have high positions, they are ministers, they are the people’s representatives, and they hold all powers that they should in a democracy.”

“I face no health issues at all. I am in excellent health. I have been campaigning for the last month in a very hot season and I am fine,” said Patnaik on questions being raised by BJP about his health.

On the viral video showing his hand shaking, the CM said, “It’s no medical condition at all. It has been exaggerated for no reason by a BJP Chief Minister.”

On PM Narendra Modi’s statement about formation of a special committee to investigate Naveen Patnaik’s deteriorating health if BJP comes to power in Odisha, the CM said, “All I have to say is that if PM Modi is so concerned about my health, all he needed was to pick up a telephone and inquire about my health instead of stating it loudly at a public meeting. This means that all he is trying to do is garner votes during the election time. This rumour has been spread by the people in Delhi for the last 10 years. My health is perfectly alright.”

On being asked if he would support the NDA, the BJD supremo said, “When support is required, we will judge our appropriate position.”

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