Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik trained his guns on the BJP, ridiculing the “double engine” campaign theme and daring it to declare its chief ministerial candidate.

Addressing election meetings in Kandhamal and Aska on Saturday, he said the real double engine is women empowerment not what the BJP is talking about.

If they want a double engine why are they scared of announcing their chief ministerial candidate for Odisha. They should also tell the people who he or she is and from which assembly constituency the person is contesting, he said.

Conscious of the factions within the BJP in the state, the CM was clearly provoking the saffron party to name its chief ministerial nominee. Seeking votes in the name of Modi alone will not help as Modi cannot be the PM as well as the CM.

The “Delhi engine” of their party had not come to Odisha when the state suffered due to natural calamities like three cyclones, flood and drought in the last five years. The engine had not stopped in Odisha but had gone to Andhra Pradesh during natural calamities, charged the CM.

It is only during election season that the Delhi “single engine” comes and hoots in Odisha only to disappear after elections, he remarked.

Patnaik said women empowerment in the real double engine and Aska will create history by sending an SHG women group leader contesting on a BJD ticket to the Lok Sabha.  I have fielded four women candidates in the assembly segments here whereas the opposition has candidates who are on bail in murder cases, he said.

Reacting to the challenge, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Each one of the four crore Odia’s in the state is the BJP’s chief minister. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who views Odisha’s history through Tamil spectacles, should know that the famous Kalinga war was fought without a king as each Odia turned up to safeguard the pride, culture and tradition of the state”.

Clearly, the CM is getting nervous over the growing popularity of PM Narendra Modi in the state, he added.