Bhubaneswar: Ahead of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik completing 13 straight years in office on Tuesday, one of his ministers has described him as `Lord Krishna` while opposition Congress termed the ruling BJD as `Kauravas` of the epic Mahabharat.
The issue was raised by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh while addressing a public meeting in Kalahandi district yesterday. "Mahabharat is continuing in Odisha. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are Kauravas, while Congress have been Pandavas in the state."
Odisha Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro, who was sharing dias with Ramesh, was prompt in his defence.
"We are Pandavas and not Kauravas as the union minister said," he said.
The matter took on a political colour today when Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik tried to justify Ramesh`s statement in the Assembly. "They (BJD) are 103 in number in the assembly. As their number is above 100, they should be the Kauravas."
Asked about his role, the PCC president retorted "I am Arjun. I will be instrumental in demolishing the Kauravas (BJD) in the next elections."
This time too, Patro joined in justifying the `Lord Krishna` tag for Naveen Patnaik saying he had been working for the poor by implementing different welfare schemes like Re 1 a kg rice for the poverty stricken people.
The revenue minister said the the Pandav tag was suitable for BJD as it had been following the path of truth.
Patro had created a controversy by telling a public meeting last year that the ministers were `servants` of the `Biju Patnaik Parivar` embarrassing BJD.
Biju Patnaik was the most popular leader of Odisha and its former chief minister, besides being the father of Naveen Patnaik. Ruling BJD was founded after his death and named after him.