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Why is church complimenting Patnaik? BJP
Published on 11 Mar. 2009 1:13 AM IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday asked Orissa Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik to tell people why the church complimented him for breaking their alliance in the state. Orissa’s top Christian leader, Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, Monday said the church was very happy over the BJD’s decision to part ways with the BJP. “Patnaik must tell people why the church, which should stay away from politics, has complimented him for breaking the alliance with the BJP?” party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad and national secretary Dharmendra Pradhan said in a statement here. The BJP said the BJD had abandoned the anti-Congress legacy of the state by associating with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which it described as “B-team of the Congress”. Terming Patnaik’s decision to quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as a “unilateral betrayal”, the BJP said: “The people of Orissa are fully aware that during the 11-year-old alliance with the BJD, the BJP gave unstinted support to the chief minister to overcome every political difficulty he faced.” In this context, “the people of Orissa must be told why a perfectly harmonious, development-oriented alliance was abruptly broken off without any provocation from the BJP,” the party said. The BJP also questioned Patnaik’s move to take support of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), “which openly champions the breaking up of Orissa and merger of at least three districts with Jharkhand”. The party stated that it would contest all 21 Lok Sabha seats from the state “so that Orissa’s voice is powerfully represented in Delhi”. The BJD Saturday decided to break ties with the BJP after their talks for seat-sharing ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly elections failed. Christian organisations were critical of the Patnaik government for communal violence in Kandhamal district last year in which a large number of Christians were attacked.

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