Bhubaneswar: Rattled by attacks over a series
of scams and charges of inefficiency against the Naveen
Patnaik government, ruling BJD leaders on Saturday threw their
weight behind the party president and Chief Minister to uphold
his "clean image".
"Naveen Babu`s image is fortified with support of party
workers and good wishes of people. The opposition conspiracy
will not be able to pierce into Naveen`s popularity wall,"
said BJD MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, known as the main
strategist of the party.
BJD leaders, including ministers, virtually entered into
a competition at a function marking the 95th birth anniversary
of legendary leader Biju Patnaik here to shield the chief
minister from opposition attacks over the spate of scandals,
including multi-crore mining scam and the recent dal scam.
Describing Patnaik as a great "warrior" in politics,
Mohapatra said the chief minister`s strength was his
popularity and clean image. "Opposition parties make wild
allegations against Patnaik and they will not succeed," he
Health and Family Welfare Minister Prasanna Acharya asked
partymen to defeat opposition attempt to tarnish image of
Patnaik over scams. "We must protect Abhimanyu (Naveen)
from the attacks of Kauravs (Opposition)," Acharya said.
"The Opposition conspiracy against Patnaik will be
defeated if we fight unitedly," Agriculture Minister Damodar
Rout said adding the state government would serve the people
under the leadership of Naveen.
"Only Naveen can take the state forward. Therefore, we
all should stand by him," said party MP Prasanna Patsani.
The Patnaik government faced flak from the opposition
Congress and BJP for the multi-crore mining scam, the recent
dal scam had put the state government in a tight spot as
beneficiaries were poor children and pregnant women across the
Though Patnaik had ordered a vigilance probe into the
mining scam, the irregularities in the purchase of dal for
mid-day meal scheme and supplementary nutrition programme
(SNP) had proved costly for the government with a minister
being axed. The opposition was now targeting Patnaik.