BHUBANESWAR: State Congress leaders were happy on Tuesday as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave them the much needed talking point for the panchayat polls by dismissing the theme of Central ‘negligence’ of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The UPA Government has all along been “supportive and sympathetic” towards Odisha and no injustice has been done to the State as alleged by the Chief Minister, Singh told party leaders. Singh was scheduled to visit the Congress Bhavan for 15 minutes only and spent a good 40 minutes listening to State leaders.
‘’The response of the PM to all our demands was positive,” OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik told mediapersons. “The Centre has never done any injustice to Odisha. Rather the UPA Government is supportive to the state,” former minister Prasad Harichandan said quoting the PM.
To party leaders’ allegation against the Naveen Government in the state about misuse and diversion of Central funds, Singh said he was aware of everything happening in the State. “The PM advised party leaders to monitor proper implementation of certain flagship programmes like PMGSY, MGNREGA and others,” Niranjan said adding Singh had assured to take proper action at appropriate time if allegations were proved.
Former minister Narashingha Mishra, who drew Singh’s attention towards delay in granting of permission by the Law Ministry for opening two circuit benches of the High Court, said the PM assured that he would take up the matter with the ministry. When the party leaders said the ruling BJD was taking mileage in absence of special grant for the poverty stricken KBK region, Singh said “The KBK issue is very much in my mind.”
The PM said there will be no compromise on corruption. All corruption issues will be investigated as per the law and guilty will be punished, he said. In a 7-page memorandum, OPCC demanded CBI probe into a series of scandals.