CUTTACK/BHUBANESWAR: The Congress on Friday came down heavily on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for protecting ruling party politicians having links with criminal elements.
Launching the special membership drive of the party here, Leader of Opposition Narsingh Mishra said one of the BJD MLAs is said to be involved in chit fund scam and another allegedly has links with gangsters Dhal Samanta brothers. But no action has so far been taken by the Chief Minister against them, he said.
Referring to large scale irregularities in selection of beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA), Mishra said the former chairperson of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) Minati Behera resigned from her post after being found guilty of taking a ration card in her relative’s name. But no police case was lodged against her, he said and added that the Chief Minister is giving protection to such elements in the BJD.
Mishra also criticised the State Government for its failure to provide safe drinking water to people of Cuttack City for which jaundice has spread in the area again. Last year, there was jaundice outbreak in Jobra area of the City and the State Government had announced several measures to bring the situation under control, Mishra said and added that the disease has spread again in the same area this year exposing the Government’s false claims.
The Leader of Opposition criticised the Chief Minister for providing wrong figures about irrigated land in Cuttack. According to a reply given by the Chief Minister in the Assembly last year, the irrigated land in Cuttack district is more than the total agricultural land in the district.
Describing the State Government as anti-farmer, Mishra criticised its failure to bring the farm crisis under control even though farmers’ suicide continued unabated.
The Congress launched the special membership drive all over the State. The State level membership drive was launched at Bhubaneswar by president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan.
Harichandan enrolled more than 100 persons from Ma Bhagawati Bustee into the party. Addressing a function to mark the occasion, Harichandan criticised the anti-poor attitude of the State Government and the Centre.
Alleging that the Smart City concept is only for the rich and nothing for the poor, Harichandan criticised the Government for its decision to borrow `4000 crore for its implementation. He announced that the Smart City project will be opposed by Congress in the coming days.