BHUBANESWAR: Criticising Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his silence over the drastic cut in Central assistance to different schemes, the Congress on Thursday alleged that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has struck a deal with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to save its leaders from various irregularities, including the chit fund and mining scams.
“Surprisingly, though eight vital schemes are now delinked from Central assistance and in 33 schemes Central fund has been reduced, the BJD in Odisha is maintaining a mysterious silence,” Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra told mediapersons here.
The same BJD Government was making wild allegations of Central negligence despite enormous amount of assistance to implement all the Central schemes in Odisha during the UPA rule at the Centre, he said.
The BJP-led NDA Government has also reduced kerosene quota for the State drastically and made sharp increase in petrol and diesel price from time to time but the BJD is not protesting at all, he said.
When UPA was in power, it was a political plank of BJD to create all sorts of nuisance like burning of effigies and giving bandh calls alleging Central negligence, he said.
The Leader of the Opposition alleged that due to delinking of Central assistance from the eight schemes, the socio-economic sector will be seriously affected. Besides, it will also put heavy financial burden on the State exchequer to execute these schemes from its own funds, he said.
Alleging that during the last Assembly session, the Chief Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Delhi visit, Mishra said there is reasonable ground to believe that a secret deal has been struck as subsequent developments like probe in chitgate made it amply clear.
“All these give an impression that BJD joined hands with BJP Government at the Centre not as equals to protect the interest of the State but to save their leaders and some members of BJD from serious consequences of various scams in which they are embroiled,” he claimed.
The Congress leader also criticised the State Government for not making any alternative arrangement after delinking of eight Centrally-aided schemes, including Backward Regions Grant Funds (BRGF).
Criticising the State Government for its failure to contain spread of jaundice in Balangir town, Mishra demanded that immediate steps should be taken to provide safe drinking water to people. The old drinking water pipelines should be changed, he said.