Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today drew sharp criticism from BJP and Congress for not attending the Niti Ayog meeting that was convened today at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Union Minister Jual Oram lashed out at Patnaik saying that he is creating a dangerous trend in the country. “He is clearly violating the federal structure of the country by skipping such a high profile meeting. He had taken oath as the chief minister of Odisha but working for his own party seriously. It is not good for a healthy democracy,” he added.
“Like the naxals who are boycotting all government programmes, the Odisha government has skipped the Niti Ayog meeting in a similar way,” Oram maintained.
Similarly, PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said the policy of Naveen Patnaik is unclear. “The CM had attended the meeting last year. What prevented him this year? Niti Ayog is the largest forum to discuss strategies for development. In which forum, he would present Odisha issues then? he asked.
The senior Congress leader further said ” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who is an arch rival of BJP, also attended the meeting. She is supporting the policies of the BJP. But in the matter of Odisha, Naveen’s stand is unclear,” Patnaik said.
On the other hand, BJD replied the allegation of BJP and Congress. Party spokesperson and MP Pratap Deb said “Oram has given such statement being panicked over his party’s declining popularity. Niti Ayog has not been constituted based on any constitutional guidelines. The CM skipped the meeting due to some scheduled programmes in State. He has appraised the matter to the Prime Minister in writing. All the grievances and the suggestions have been presented in the meeting as per its agenda based on which the meeting has been convened”.