Naveen Patnaik will form government again in 2019: Dr. Damodar Rout

Naveen Patnaik will form government again in 2019: Dr. Damodar Rout

Representing Paradip constituency in the current Assembly, 75-year-old Dr Damodar Rout, the late Biju Patnaik confidant, is the seven-time MLA of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The veteran leader of Odisha found a place in all four ministries headed by Naveen Patnaik.nnStrangely enough, he could not complete a full term as minister in any of the tenures. In an interview with National Political Mirror, Dr Rout speaks on numerous issues including the party?s preparedness to face a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party.nnExcerpts:nnNational Political Mirror :Odisha is the next target of the BJP to bring this eastern state within its fold. The party has recently held a big rally by Narendra Modi in Cuttack. Do you think that Modi magic will impact the forthcoming polls in the state?nnDamodara Rout:  No, the BJP has no presence in Odisha and party is only campaigning in Media and social media. In the 2014 elections, party has managed to win only 10 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat despite Modi?s visit in state. For the last 18 years, Naveen Patnaik is Chief Minister and his popularity is increasing elections after elections.nnThe public will rise against Modi and the BJP due to Mahanadhi issue. The BJP-led Chhattisgarh government has closed all the 66 gates of Kalma barrage on the upper catchment of Mahanadi River leading to acute drinking water crisis in Western Odisha districts.nnNational Political Mirror :How are you looking at 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly election in Odisha?nnDr Rout: Everything is smooth here, and Naveen Patnaik will form government again in 2019.nnNational Political Mirror :Currently, the BJD has 20 Lok Sabha Seats out of 21. Will the party succeed in retaining all those seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections?nnDr Rout: I can?t predict now, but we will be in comfortable positions.nnNational Political Mirror :In case there is a fractured mandate, will your party help to form new government at Centre? nnnDr Rout: Naveen Patnaik had maintained that BJD will remain equidistant from both the BJP and Congress. As for supporting a new government at centre, I can?t say about Naveen Babu?s stand if Opposition is united against the BJP. But in Odisha, there is no question of any alliance with Congress.nnNational Political Mirror :Why did Naveen Patnaik not attend Janata Dal (Secular) chief H.D. Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony in Bengaluru? Is there any specific reason?nnDr Rout: No, there was no specific reason as during the period, from 16th to 25th May, chief minister Naveen Patnaik was leading ‘Mahanadi Surakhya Yatra’. He was busy holding rally to make people of Odisha aware of its dispute with the neighbouring BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh over the Mahanadi water sharing issue.nn nn nn nn nn nn nn 

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