Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has alleged that former Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda was spreading rumours about his ill health. This, the Chief Minister said, he is doing for political gains.
During an interview with a national news channel, Naveen said, “one of our ex-MPs spread the rumour for political gains.” When asked whether he is referring to Jay Panda, Naveen said, “I am.” When the interviewer asked, why Naveen believed that Panda would spread such rumours, the BJD chief replied, “I think for his own personal political ambitions.” The Chief Minister also said that Panda was trying to take Naveen on and leave the party. He said jogging, cycling, weight lifting and leg exercises are a part of his daily workout.
Panda, who joined the saffron party following his suspension from the BJD, reacted to this in his tweeter handle. “That’s just a ridiculous thing to say. Also, it’s false. It’s very sad to see him descend into this paranoia about me. I pray to Lord Jagannath to give him good sense to reject such nonsensical conspiracy theories, & also bless him with continued good health,” Panda tweeted.
Earlier, a video featuring the CM doing morning exercises inside Naveen Niwas went viral. “Getting ready to fight for the people of Odisha,” Naveen signed off at the end. Naveen, who is 72, is the state’s longest serving CM and currently eyeing a fifth successive term in office. BJD insiders claim that Naveen is fit and rumours about him not keeping well to hold the reins of power are sponsored by his political rivals. BJP national president Amit Shah, during a rally at Bhawanipatna Sunday, said, the Chief Minister has got tired of governing and a change is needed in the state.
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