BHUBANESWAR: In a scathing attack on the Centre, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said the BJP reminds him of the proverb “empty vessels make the most noise”. Flagging off the BJD’s month-long ‘Jana Sampark Padyatra’ from Jharana Basti here, Naveen, who is also president of the ruling BJD in the State, alleged that the NDA Government has failed to live up to the expectations of the people.
The Chief Minister also criticised the BJP over the demand of Special Category State (SCS) status for Odisha. “In its poll manifesto, the BJP had promised to accord SCS status to Odisha, but people of the State are waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. As we know, empty vessels make the most noise,” he said.
The month-long programme of the ruling party comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah visited the State on separate occasions, seeking the ouster of BJD Government in Odisha in 2019 elections. The Chief Minister had directly criticised the Centre during the visit of Modi over the issue of corruption.
Claiming that his Government has fulfilled all promises made to the people before 2014 polls, the Chief Minister said he was forced to launch a food security scheme in the State as the Centre did not include households left out of National Food Security Act (NFSA).Naveen said his Government had to launch the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) as the Centre rejected his terms and conditions for Ayushman Bharat programme. “The people of Odisha know who fulfils promises and who does not,” he said.
Though the Chief Minister targeted the BJP during the launching of the padyatra, he left out Congress which is the principal opposition political party in the State. The Congress has 15 MLAs in the 147 member Assembly while the BJP has 10.During the yatra, BJD leaders will create awareness on the State Government’s achievements and flagship programmes such as ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikash’, ‘Ama Sahara Ama Unnati’, BSKY, Mission Shakti scheme.
Reacting to Naveen’s allegations, the BJP said Odisha could not get the SCS status due to several factors, including the Government’s inability to spend Central funds in its entirety.“It is unfortunate that the Chief Minister is demanding special category status even after remaining in power for 18 years. The State Government has not been able to spend the Central assistance given by the NDA Government,” said BJP general secretary Prithiwiraj Harichandan.