Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP lawmaker Jayanarayan Mishra on Monday raised questions on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to Rome, Italy.
Mr.Mishra questioned sources of money being spent for the Chief Minister’s Italy visit and reason behind meeting with the Pope.
“If he visited Italy with public money, why did he go there and what did he achieve in return? What was the necessity to meet the Pope standing in a row? We have never seen him meeting Shankaracharya,” Mr.Mishra told reporters.
“Being a resident of Odisha and an opposition party MLA, we have the right to know why Naveen met Pope. What is his relation with the Pope?…….He is not a national leader,” he said.
“If Naveen Babu makes any attempt to make Odisha a Christian state, we will strongly protest such a move,” warned the BJP leader. He also informed that BJP will raise this issue during the upcoming monsoon session of Assembly.
Reacting to Mishra’s questions, senior BJD MLA Shashi Bhusan Behera said a substantial Christian population are residing in the world and more important is being given to the Pope than chief of a Christian state.
“What is wrong in meeting the Pope and getting mental support of the Christian population? If a positive mindset will be created in the world towards Odisha, it is a right decision of the Chief Minister,” said Mr.Behera.
Notably, Mr.Patnaik is leading a high-level delegation of the Odisha government to Rome and Dubai. He met Pope Francis in Vatican City on June 22. The Chief Minister is scheduled to return to Odisha on June 30.