CUTTACK: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed the BJD Government in Odisha for
failing to harness Mahanadi river water during the last 18 years of its rule.
Listing out the achievements of the NDA Government on completion of four years at the Bali Jatra Ground here, the Prime Minister said, the State Government had admitted in the Assembly than more than half of Mahanadi water flows into the Bay of Bengal.
By raking up the Mahanadi issue - which has been a bone of contention between Odisha and Chhattisgarh - the Prime Minister has given the State BJP a much-needed boost in its Mission 120+ in the State because the BJD Government has used the water disputes as a major issue and mounted a massive State-wide campaign against the saffron party.
However, the State Government did not cooperate with the Centre when it wanted to resolve the dispute through negotiation, he said and added that Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had written a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard but Odisha Government did not come forward.
Not only Mahanadi, he said, the Odisha Government also failed to harness water of five other big rivers in the State. The BJD Government, he said, has left the farmers to fend for themselves as Mahanadi river water could not be tapped for irrigation.
Referring to the delay in completion of irrigation projects in the State, Modi said, the people want to know why the Lower Indra Project which was started 20 years back is yet to be completed.
He also took potshots at the healthcare sector of stating that health care is a cause of concern in Eastern India. The Prime Minister said, embarrassing pictures from tribal areas surface through media, particularly from Odisha.
However, Modi gunned against the grand alliance against the BJP and Congress during his speech. He said that opposition politicians are now trying to come under one umbrella out of fear because of the NDA Government's crusade against corruption.
“People who are involved in scams of thousands of crores of rupees are talking to about people's welfare and a grand alliance against the BJP only to save themselves,” he said.
The Prime Minister said because of the crusade against corruption launched by the Centre after 2014, four former chief ministers are now behind the bars. Modi also lashed out at the culture of "family first" and corruption and scams of the Congress "family" during his speech.
Stating that vote bank politics has kept the country backwards, Modi said when this issue was raised by BJP, it was branded as communal. The Prime Minister, however, said that the NDA Government was not afraid of taking hard decisions.
“Only a government of commitment - and not confusion - can take decisions like a surgical strike,” he said and added that repeated blessings showered on them by the people during the last four years has proved that the NDA government at the Centre is on the right track. “From five States, the BJP now rules 20 States in the country,” he said.
He also said the many from the NDA Government come from poor families. The President, Vice President and Prime Minister have come from very modest backgrounds and have experienced poverty which is why they understand the problem of the masses.