'So much for being good friend': Naveen Patnaik as PM flags his 'health'

Naveen Patnaik said his health was 'perfectly alright' and stressed that he had been campaigning for the past one month.
'So much for being good friend': Naveen Patnaik as PM flags his 'health'
Jaano Junction

Ending speculations over his health, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said he was "perfectly alright" and stressed that he had been campaigning for the Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections for the past one month.

The BJD chief, in an interview with media, also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raising his health condition during poll rallies, saying he was just "trying to garner votes" during election time.

Patnaik said such rumours about his health had been spread for the last 10 years and PM Modi could have just called him if he was genuinely concerned.

"He (PM Modi) has stated publicly earlier that I am his good friend. 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 three times yesterday," Patnaik, who is seeking a record sixth term as Chief Minister of Odisha, said.

"This means that all he (PM Modi) is trying to do is garner votes during election time. This rumour has been spread by the people in Delhi for the last 10 years... My health is perfectly alright," the BJD supremo said.

Patnaik's remarks come at a time when several BJP leaders have raised the Odisha Chief Minister's rapidly deteriorating health in the poll season.

On Wednesday, PM Modi, campaigning in Odisha, stated in three back-to-back election rallies that Patnaik was not in a state to do his routine duties.

The Prime Minister also said that if the BJP came to power in the state, the party would set up a special committee to ascertain the reason behind the "sudden deterioration" in Patnaik's health.

PM Modi also hinted at a conspiracy behind the BJD supremo's "deteriorating health". In a veiled attack on BJD leader VK Pandian, PM Modi questioned whether a "lobby" that was running the Odisha government on Patnaik's behalf was responsible for his health condition.

On Tuesday, a video went viral showing VK Pandian grabbing Patnaik's trembling hand during a rally and trying to hide it from public view. The BJP was quick to attack Pandian, saying it was symbolic of his power grab.

A day later, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma shared a new video purportedly showing the former IAS officer "controlling" the legs of the Odisha Chief Minister.

Source: India Today

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