I’m fit and fine, stop lying: Naveen Patnaik to BJP

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had in a recent public rally had gone to the extent of saying that Naveen should retire due to his advanced age and failing health.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik(Photo | Shamim Qureshy)

BHUBANESWAR: Hitting back at BJP for making his health condition their major campaign issue in this election, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday accused the party and its leaders of spreading complete lies about him.

The chief minister said there is a limit to the lies the party can spread about his health. “There is a limit to the amount of lies BJP can spread. As you can see I am in very good health and have been campaigning for around a month all over the state,” he told a news agency while campaigning for BJD candidates in Mayurbhanj district.

BJD leader and star campaigner VK Pandian also termed the campaign by BJP leaders as unfortunate. “I only hope BJP comes up with innovative ideas instead of talking about something which is non-existent. You are all watching the chief minister. It is very unfortunate, below the belt,” he said.

Pandian said, the people of Odisha would not appreciate such act to demean the chief minister who enjoys huge popularity. “Targeting the chief minister by talking about his health is so sub-standard,” he added.

Naveen and Pandian were responding to the aggressive campaign by the BJP where even top leaders of the party have alleged that the chief minister was not in good health. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had in a recent public rally had gone to the extent of saying that Naveen should retire due to his advanced age and failing health.

Several saffron party leaders including Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had raised the issue while campaigning for their party’s candidates. The BJP leaders had also alleged that the videos of the chief minister are AI-generated and deepfakes. While alluding to his failing health, they have been alleging that he is held captive and being manipulated.The BJP’s campaign had also come in for strong criticism from BJD organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das on Thursday. “The BJP is focusing on the health of the chief minister as it does not have any other issue,” he had said.

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