BARGARH: With less than 10 days remaining for Bijepur by-election, Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan came out all guns blazing against the ruling BJD on Friday and accused Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of deserting the Assembly seat.
Addressing a huge gathering at Talapali in Gaesilat block here, Pradhan criticised Naveen for shattering the hopes of Bijepur voters whom he had promised to personally look after the development of the constituency. “If the CM was truly concerned about Bijepur voters, he could have vacated his Hinjli seat. Naveen repaid the faith shown in him by voters by putting the burden of by-election on them.”
The Union Minister said people of this backward region had elected Naveen with a hope of development but he betrayed them. “Are the people fools? Was expecting basic amenities from the ruling Government a mistake?” Pradhan questioned.
The State Government has failed to provide proper healthcare, irrigation facilities under Gangadhar Meher Yojana, safe drinking water and employment opportunities to youths, which were the long standing demands of the people of Bijepur, he said.
Highlighting the irregularities in implementation of BJD Government’s flagship programme KALIA, Pradhan said, “It seems wife of Padampur MLA Bijayasingh Bariha and BJD leader Pranaya Sahu have availed the benefits of the scheme.” He also sought to know from the gathering whether all beneficiaries of the region availed the benefits under KALIA.
“After ruling the State for nearly 20 years, the BJD Government is speaking about ‘Mo Sarkar’. Whose ‘Sarkar’ was here all this while?” Pradhan asked.
The Union Minister appealed to the people to vote for BJP in the by-poll. “We could win Bargarh Lok Sabha seat in the General Elections because of your faith on BJP. Choosing our party candidate Sanat Gartia as your MLA would bring in a slew of developments in Bijepur which the BJP has been trying to provide to people under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Pradhan said.
He further said BJP will provide pucca houses, water, electricity, toilet and all other basic amenities to people of Bijepur by 2022 if it wins.
Pradhan’s public meeting was the first in Bijepur by any BJP heavyweight leader ahead of the by-poll on October 21.