By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September 6, 2022: Party workers at the Biju Patnaik International Airport welcomed Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday. More than 50,000 party workers gathered outside the airport to give a grand reception to the BJD supremo, who was honoured with a lifetime achievement award in Delhi.

The crowd was so huge that it brought the city to a halt, and the traffic had to be diverted on various routes. Although the police commissionerate had cautioned earlier, those travelling to the airport between 9 am and noon to reach at least three hours before their boarding time.

The capital city was decorated with huge cut-outs and life-size posters of Naveen Pattnaik, and barricades were placed to manage the workers who reached the airport from different parts of the state.

The entire area reverberated with slogans praising Naveen Patnaik. Similarly, tribal women, wearing traditional costumes, performed folk dances on the road to show their respect towards the CM.

Patnaik was brought in a special bus to the Biju Patnaik statue at the airport, where he waved at his supporters gathered outside the airport after garlanding the statue of his father, Biju Patnaik.

The show of strength by the ruling BJD coincides with the back-to-back visits of senior BJP leaders. The BJP’s national president, JP Nadda, will arrive in the state on a two-day visit on September 29, and newly appointed Odisha in-charge Sunil Bansal’s stay in the state has fuelled speculation of early polls.

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