Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said power is like “oxygen for some people” and politicians nowadays get restless if they stay out of it for even “two or five years”, PTI reported. Modi was speaking at an event where he released a Rs 100 commemorative coin in memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a day before 94th birth anniversary.

“Today’s political landscape is such that if someone has to stay out of power even for two or five years, they become restless,” Modi said in an apparent jibe at the Opposition parties. He said Vajpayee had spent a long part of his career in the Opposition but “spoke about national interest and never compromised on the ideology of the party”.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and party chief Amit Shah were also present at the event.

Modi said Vajpayee always kept the nation and democracy before himself and the party. Modi said the party that Vajpayee built “brick by brick” is now among the largest political outfits in the world – a reference to the BJP. Modi also described Vajpayee as among the best orators India had produced.

The 100-rupee coin, with Vajpayee’s image, has his name inscribed in Hindi and English. It weighs 35 grams and has the years 1924 and 2018 inscribed to mark the years of Vajpayee’s birth and death. He died in August.

Modi inaugurates IIT Bhubaneswar

In Odisha on Monday, Modi laid the foundation stone for a new campus of the Indian Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar, which was built at a cost of Rs 1,260 crore, ANI reported. He also inaugurated the Indian Institute of Science and Education Research campus in Berhampur. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was also present on the occasion.

“I got the opportunity to dedicate IIT Bhubaneswar to the youth,” Modi said. “This grand campus will not only be a centre of dreams for the youth of Odisha but will also provide employment opportunities.”

Modi inaugurated projects worth Rs 15,000 crore in the state, including the ESIC Hospital in Bhubaneswar.

At a BJP rally later in Khurda, Modi accused the Biju Janata Dal of spreading corruption in several sectors. “Who is feeding the demon [of corruption]?” he asked. “The demon of corruption has grown in chit fund, PC [percentage commission] culture... the truth of Odisha’s development is not hidden.”

Modi also criticised the state government for not signing up for the central government’s ambitious health programme Ayushman Bharat.