.........BHUBANESWAR: Senior BJD leader and Lok Sabha MP Tathagata Satpathy has dragged party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik into an unseemly controversy over language.
Days after Tathagata Satpathy took a dig at union minister Narendra Singh Tomar for using Hindi as the official mode of communication for non-Hindi speaking states, Union Human Resources Development minister Prakash Javedkar advised the BJD MP to write to Naveen Patnaik in Odia stating that the latter is unable to speak his mother tongue despite 17 years of his rule in Odisha.
Tathagata, in a series of Tweets, accused Narendra Singh Tomar of imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking people like him.
"Why are union ministers forcing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking Indians? Is this an attack on other languages?” said a tweet.
"Why can't Union Ministries hire one person from each state to help communicate? It would create jobs for educated youth," Tathagata Sathpathy tweeted again.
Satpathy further tweeted, "I would also like to state that our state Odisha falls in the ‘C' category so kindly send us a letter in English or Odia."
Responding to queries from reporters on the issue, Narendra Singh Tomar who was in the city to attend the BJP's state executive committee meeting said he did not expect such comments from Satpathy.
"Tathagata is a good friend of mine. I love Odia as much as I love Hindi. I am really surprised at his remarks," Tomar said.