In February, Modi had addressed a rally in Bhubaneswar where he criticized Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and mocked his inability to speak Odiya.

"I was trying to speak in Odiya not because I wanted to put down your Chief Minister, but there should be respect for every language in the country," Modi had said.

Patnaik’s party, the Biju Janata Dal, is placed strongly in the state. The state, which sends 21 MPs to the Lok Sabha, will play a crucial role in the Lok Sabha elections.


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