Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a rally in Kendrapara on Tuesday took off the gloves against Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and said he cannot be saved after violence against BJP workers in the run up to the third phase of elections in the state.
In the last few days, BJP workers and leaders have reported attacks. A senior BJP worker Manguli Jena was shot dead in Khordha, while the party’s Bhubaneswar-Central MLA candidate Jagannath Pradhan reported a crude bomb attack.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan released a video Thursday, claiming the attacks indicate the CM is worried about an impending loss in 2019. Pradhan promised to bring a “Goonda Act” in Odisha if the BJP comes to power.
The BJD has released a video accusing “BJP and Pradhan of bringing poll violence culture from Bihar into peaceful Odisha”.
The PM, on his final election campaign tour of Odisha in Kendrapara, asked BJP workers and voters to stand firm in the face of violence. He said, “Pehle aur doosre charan main chunav ke andar maine maryadaon ka palan kiya tha. Naveen Babu ki bhi maine alochana karne se apne aapko bachaya tha. Main chahtha tha ki Odisha ki unhone itne saal seva ki hai toh unki bidaayi bhi shandaar ho. Beizzati ho kar ke na jaye. Unki izzat ke liye main chup tha. Bidayi achchi ho yeh main chahta tha (In the first two phases, I abided by propriety. I refrained from criticizing Naveen Babu. I wanted him to get a spectacular farewell since he has served Odisha for so many years. He should not be humiliated. I was quiet for the sake of his respect. I wanted a good farewell)”.
“Lekin pichchle das bara din main jis prakar se Bangal ki tarah hinsa ka sahara liya gaya hai aur unke kuch muththi bhar afsaron nay is khel ko khelne main aankhon main patri bandh kar rakhi hai… jab main aaj is chunav main akhri din aya hoon… toh main unko kehna chahta hoon- Naveen Babu aap jaa rahe ho, aapka jana tay hai… yeh muththi bhar afsar aapko nahin bacha payenge (But in the last 10-12 days, Bengal-like violence has been used in Odisha. A handful of his officers have remained blind to all this. On this last election tour of Odisha, I say- Naveen Babu you are going, it is decided. Your officers cannot save you). ”
“Odisha ki janta ghar se haath jodke mehmaan ko bidaai karti hai waise aapke kaam ki izzat karke bidai karne ke mood main hai. Lekin ab gusse ke saath aapko nikalne ke mood main hai. Ab aapka bachna mushkil hai (Odisha wanted to give you a respectful farewell like they do with their guests. Now they will throw you out with anger. You will not be spared)”.
Modi also addressed an oft cited speculation that BJD may get more votes in the assembly election, while BJP receives votes for Lok Sabha. Citing a conversation with the “samajhdaar (wise)” Odiya community in Surat, Modi said, “Kuch log jo keh rahe hain, upar Modi ko dene waley hain lekin inko nichey chala lenge. (Who) Bole aisa nahin hone wala hai… aapki gadi main teen paiye bade ho aur ek paiya scooter ka lagan lain toh gaadi chalegi kya?… Humne tay kiya charon paiye barabar honge gaadi ke… niche bhi bhajpa, upar bhi bhajpa (Some people say we will vote for Modi in Lok Sabha and make do with the status quo in the assembly elections. But I was told that this will not happen. If you put three big wheels in a car while the fourth wheel is of a scooter, then will the car move? People have decided all four wheels will be equally big. BJP for Lok Sabha, BJP for assembly)”.