'Perfectly fine, PM could have just called': Odisha CM refutes health rumors

Patnaik’s statement came hours after PM Modi in three back-to-back poll rallies stated that the Odisha CM was not in a state to do his routine duties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. PTI Photo

BHUBANESWAR: I am perfectly fine, PM could have just called: Naveen responds to Modi

In a strong rebuttal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on his health condition, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said he was perfectly fine and campaigning in the state for the last several months on Wednesday.

Patnaik’s statement came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in three back-to-back election rallies stated that the Odisha Chief Minister was not in a state to do his routine duties.

"He (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) has stated publicly earlier that I am his good friend. All he had to do was pick up a telephone and ask me about my health. But a number of BJP people from Odisha and Delhi are spreading rumours about my health.

To a query on Modi's statement that a committee would be set up to inquire about his health, Patnaik said he should instead constitute a panel to find out about the role of some people in the BJP who are spreading false rumours about his health.

“If he has to form a committee, I suggest he should look into the role of the people who are spreading such false rumours about my health,” the chief minister said.

“This is election time, he has said this for votes only,” the Odisha CM added.

Instead of concerning himself about such rumours, Patnaik said, the Prime Minister should concentrate on the revision of coal royalty for the state and the demand for special category state status for Odisha which the government has been raising for years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
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“This will benefit the people of Odisha,” he added.

Earlier, in a separate video, the chief minister came down heavily on political leaders outside the state for attacking him at personal level and called upon the people to give them a befitting reply on June 1 when Odisha goes into the last phase of the election.

Stating that 4.5 crore people of the state are his family, the chief minister said he has always been with them, be it COVID-19, floods or cyclones.

“It’s really sad that political leaders from outside are coming here and attacking me at a personal level. They use derogatory language and hurtful statements. You know well that I never disrespect or make hurtful remarks against anyone. I am sure all of you, especially the women and youth, will give a befitting reply to them on June 1 during voting", he added.

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