Narendra Modi on Tuesday tore into Naveen Patnaik government over lack of development in Odisha and mocked the fledgling Third Front, of which Patnaik’s BJD is a member, saying its only job is to “save” Congress.
Making his maiden appearance in the state capital in 2014 poll campaign, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate said the members of Third Front have “destroyed” every state they have ruled whether it was Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Left parties in West Bengal or BJD in Odisha.
Terming the efforts for cobbling Third Front an attempt to help Congress, he said nine of the 11 parties of the Front have been supporting Congress and they have put on the “mask” of Third Front on election eve.
“Third Front has only one work – save Congress. Time has come to teach them a lesson,” he said.
In a no holds barred attack on his party’s former ally BJD, Modi invoked former state CM and Patnaik’s father Biju Patnaik and said he would have been sad to see what has happened to his state.
Taunting the CM, Modi said most of the Odiya migrants working in Gujarat were from his home district Ganjam.
“The most appropriate tribute to Biju babu would be to make Odisha a developed state…. I have not come here with promises but intentions,” he told a large gathering, urging them to vote for BJP in Lok Sabha elections to help him develop the state once he comes to power at the Centre.
He and Patnaik have been CMs for the last 14 years, he said, adding that while Gujarat had prospered on his watch, Odisha had lagged behind and remains a poor state despite being endowed with rich natural resources.
He said BJP government would bring about development in the state so much so that migrants would come back to the state.
“I vow before you. To help the poor prosper is the top priority of BJP,” he said.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.