Union Minister Pradhan lambasts Odisha CM for alleged lack of awareness

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Bhubaneswar, (Reporterspen), May 12: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched a scathing attack on Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, accusing him of lacking familiarity with various aspects of the state. Pradhan’s remarks came in response to Patnaik’s reactions to certain issues raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent election campaign in Odisha.

Referring to Modi’s questions about Patnaik’s knowledge of Odisha’s districts and villages, Pradhan accused the Chief Minister of sidestepping these key inquiries. Patnaik had been asked by Modi whether he could name all 30 districts of Odisha without referring to notes, as well as if he could identify ten villages in the Kantabanji Assembly constituency, from which Patnaik is seeking reelection.

Pradhan criticized Patnaik for deflecting from Modi’s questions and instead focusing on unrelated matters. He alleged that the Chief Minister heavily relies on prepared texts provided by external sources due to his purported lack of in-depth understanding of Odisha.

Furthermore, Pradhan lambasted Patnaik for accusing the Centre of neglecting the demand for classical status for Odissi music. Pradhan clarified that there is no provision for granting classical status to music, as confirmed by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. However, he emphasized that Odissi dance and the Odia language have indeed been recognized as classical due to specific provisions.

Pradhan also criticized the delay in establishing a Center of Classical Indian Languages in Odisha, despite Odia being granted classical language status in 2014. He claimed that the state government took no action on this matter for years, only allocating space for an office in 2019.

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