"Won't Work": Naveen Patnaik Snuffs Out BJP "Discussion" About His Hands

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has responded to BJP jibes about his trembling hands and close aide VK Pandian's efforts to hide it from public view, with his trademark calmness.

May 29, 2024 - 01:00
"Won't Work": Naveen Patnaik Snuffs Out BJP "Discussion" About His Hands

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has responded to BJP jibes about his trembling hands and close aide VK Pandian's efforts to hide it from public view, with his trademark calmness.

"I believe the BJP, which is known to make non-issues into issues, are discussing my hands. This will certainly not work," said the 77-year-old, who, amid assembly elections in the state, has been increasingly targetted by the BJP over his health.

Earlier today, Mr Pandian was caught on camera trying to hide Mr Patnaik's trembling hands while he was delivering a speech.

The first off the block was Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who tagged it an effort by Mr Pandian to capture power in the state.

Mr Sarma posted the video on X, formerly Twitter, with a lengthy caption.

"This is a deeply distressing video. Shri VK Pandian ji is even controlling the hand movements of Shri Naveen Babu. I shudder to imagine the level of control a retired ex bureaucrat from Tamil Nadu is currently exercising over the future of Odisha! BJP is determined is give back the reins of Odisha to the people of the State," the caption read.

Last week, Union home minister and the BJP's chief strategist Amit Shah had put the spotlight on the health of the five-time Chief Minister.

Mr Patnaik, he said, should retire due to his "advanced age and health issues". The BJP, he added, would replace him with a younger son of the soil if voted to power.

Mr Patnaik's response was acerbic. Mr "There is a limit to the lies the BJP can tell. As you can see, I am in very good health, and I have been campaigning for around a month all over the state," he told news agency ANI.

That Mr Pandian is a bugbear for the BJP was evident by Mr Shah's attack on him. Hitting out at the bureaucrat-turned-politician without naming him, Mr Shah said a "Tamil babu" is ruling the roost in Odisha and people will vote for the BJP to free the state from "babu raj".

Recently, Mr Pandian had listed nine "self goals" of the BJP, which he claimed would ensure that the state stays in the hands of the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

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