After rallies and padayatras, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik has taken to social media to intensify his attack on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by demanding an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of Central neglect.
In his latest blog post, Patnaik said, “If the BJD feels that there is any sector in which Odisha is not getting its legitimate share of Central funds, I will be the first person to rally behind the State Government.” When it comes to economic development of the State the Congress will play no politics, Patnaik said, adding that mere political rhetoric unsubstantiated by facts may be good in hoodwinking the people but not great for an informed debate.
Patnaik also asked what has happened to the thousands of crore of money that this government received by way of Central transfer? This is the period when many states have forged ahead, Patnaik said and added that the State’s position has remained precarious. “The time has come for the BJD government to account for neglecting people during the last 12 years,” he said.
Alleging that many promises made by the BJD remained unfulfilled even after 12 years, Patnaik said Odisha continues to be at the bottom among states on most development indicators. The political stability and the electoral mandate have not translated into economic performance, he said and added, “people have given enough opportunity to BJD and are now disappointed.”
As failure has become glaring after 12 years of rule, the bogey of Central neglect has become an obsessive political agenda with the BJD leadership as a carefully crafted diversionary tactic, he said.
Refuting the charges of Central neglect, Patnaik said in 1995-96 the State received a total of 2,135.29 crore, which is estimated to have reached Rs 20,278.46 crore in 2011-12. The total fund transfer during 1995 and 2000, when there was a Congress government in the State, was approximately Rs 13,000 crore, which also included the period between 1998-2000 when NDA was in power in Delhi and Naveen Patnaik was a Central minister.
During the first term of the BJD government (2000-2004), the State received about 23,000.8 crore, with NDA at the Centre and BJD a part of the Central Government. Under the UPA-I the State received Rs 42,000.8 crore. If we add the money already received by the government under UPA-II with the estimates for the period before the scheduled elections in 2014, the total Central transfer will be upwards of Rs 80,000 crore, Patnaik said.
When facts are presented before the BJD, it turns around to say it is not doing any charity in a federal system, Patnaik said and asked then why mislead the people by talking about neglect.