Sambalpur: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was today criticised by senior BJD leader Baishnab Parida for ruling Odisha without knowing Odia.
Parida, a former Rajya Sabha member of the party who is also heading ‘Bhasha Surakhya Sammilani’, an outfit fighting for the protection of Odia language and literature, launched a scathing attack on his party chief during a meeting on Odia culture and tradition here today.
“Those who can’t speak Odia, irrespective of being a minister or CM, have no right to rule the people of Odisha. It would have been different had Naveen Patnaik been a normal citizen. Since he is the people’s representative, he must respect our mother tongue, literature, culture and tradition. If he wants to remain in power without knowing Odia, it is an insult to Odia community,” Parida said.
He further rued, “I also feel ashamed while conversing with him in English.”
Party MLA from Sambalpur Raseswari Panigrahi, however, strongly defended the CM saying Parida has no base in party and might have lost mental balance due to old age. “Just imagine what type of mentality he has. The CM can clearly understand Odia. He has been reigning over crores of Odia hearts. Such statements will have no impact on party,” Panigrahi said.
The MLA who is also a BJD spokesperson further questioned Parida’s contribution to Odia culture. “I want to ask him what he has done for Odia language during his six-year tenure as Rajya Sabha member,” she said.