Describing Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as a "merchant of lies", senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday alleged that the Odisha chief minister is misleading the people about the Centre's contribution to the state.
The statement of Mr Pradhan, also a Union minister, came hours after Mr Patnaik accused the BJP-led central government of contributing only 20 per cent of the cost of setting up two medical colleges in the state.
"Patnaik is a merchant of lies. He has been misleading the people. The central government has contributed 60 per cent for the construction of two medical colleges at Balasore and Baripada," Mr Pradhan claimed.
Mr Patnaik also alleged that a Union minister from Odisha has put up obstructions in setting up the two medical colleges.
"The state government has set up the two medical colleges after obtaining the MCI (Medical Council of India) permission through the Supreme Court's Empowerment Committee," Mr Patnaik said.
However, Mr Pradhan denied the allegations.
On Mr Patnaik's open invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for attending his swearing-in ceremony after May 23, Mr Pradhan said, "We have decided to invite Naveen Babu as a former chief minister to the BJP government's oath taking ceremony after election results are announced. I will ensure that Patnaik gets a seat next to the prime minister."
At an election rally on Wednesday, Mr Patnaik had given an open invitation to PM Modi to attend the BJD government's swearing-in ceremony after the declaration of results.
He had claimed that his party has already secured majority to form the next government in the state after completion of the third phase of polling.
During his visit to the state on April 23, PM Modi had said Mr Patnaik's exit was certain in this election.
Assembly and Lok Sabha elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha.
BJP in-charge of Odisha, Arun Singh, has claimed that the party will win all the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state and secure three-fourth majority in the assembly.
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