BHUBANESWAR: The Opposition on Thursday accused the State Government of deflecting the attention of people from the rising incidents of farmer suicide by raising the bogey of Central negligence.
“The ruling BJD has mastered the art of politicising issue when the Government is in trouble,” remarked Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra while participating in a debate on Central neglect to the State.
The issue was debated in the Assembly through a motion moved by Government Chief Whip Ananta Das where BJD members accused both the present NDA Government and the previous UPA regime of neglecting the State which was hit by 21 disasters like flood, drought, cyclone and unseasonal rain in the last 14 years.
While members of the treasury benches accused successive Central governments of neglecting Odisha in times of disasters, Opposition Congress and BJP said it was a ploy of the BJD to hide its inefficiency to tackle the drought situation.
Though the State sought Central assistance of Rs 26,207.70 crore between 2000 and 2014, Odisha received only Rs 2442.02 crore. This is the proof of the Centre’s negligence towards the State, the Government Chief Whip said.
Das said the then prime minister announced Rs 200 crore Central assistance for flood in 2006. However, the State received only Rs 25 crore which was later adjusted against the State Disaster Response Fund.
Similarly, the then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil in 2008 announced Rs 500 crore assistance for flood in the State. However, the State received only Rs 98.87 crore of which Rs 80.869 crore was later adjusted against funds released in favour of the State from the NDRF for drought and unseasonal cyclonic rain in 2010.
Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma alleged that Odisha got nothing when the NDA Government sanctioned Rs 2000 crore for Maharashtra, Rs 1540 crore for Karnataka, Rs 1387 crore for Chhattishgarh, Rs 1665 crore for Assam and Rs 802 crore Andhra Pradesh for drought.
Dasburma and other leaders like Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Sports Minister Sudam Marndi blamed both BJP-led NDA and the previous UPA Government led by Congress for neglecting the State.
However, the members of Congress and BJP defended their respective parties during the debate and charged the BJD Government with failing to handle the drought situation.
Claiming that the State received more Central assistance under the NDA regime than the previous UPA Government, Pradip Purohit of the BJP said though certain Central schemes were stopped, the State received additional resources from coal mine auction and implementation of new Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act.
Purohit claimed that no Central Government in the past had announced Rs 35,000 National Highway project for Odisha.
Rejecting the allegation that the UPA government too neglected Odisha, Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati demanded a white paper on the Central assistance received by the State during the UPA tenure and in NDA regime.
The Leader of Opposition advised the Government to take all political parties into confidence to fight for the rights of the State.