PARALAKHEMUNDI/NABARANGPUR : Hitting the campaign trail in Odisha, BJP president Amit Shah came out all guns blazing against Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik at separate public meetings in Gajapati and Umerkote on Monday.At Sidhamadanga in Gajapati’s Kasinagar block, Shah took a dig at Naveen and said the State is currently being ruled by an ‘English Babu’ who does not know Odia. He urged people to dislodge the Naveen-led BJD Government in the polls as it has failed to develop Odisha despite allocation of crores of rupees by the Centre under various schemes.
“Under the Congress-led UPA Government, Odisha had received `79,000 crore. But Modi Government has provided as assistance of `2.11 lakh crores to Odisha. In the last financial year, the BJP-led NDA Government has released `5,13,000 crore for the State,” Shah said.Terming BJD and Congress as two sides of the same coin, the BJP chief said both the parties have failed to ensure Odisha’s development. “You gave 19 years to BJD and several more years to Congress. Give five years to Narendra Modi and he will make Odisha number one in the country,” he said.
Shah alleged that the State Government hijacked Central schemes but blamed the Centre out of fear for Modi’s popularity. “People of Odisha are hardworking and contribute to the development of other states. However, there were no employment opportunities for them in their own land,” he said and criticised the State Government for not spending funds for development of tribal areas under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF). Under Modi’s vision of a ‘new Odisha’, no one would be left unemployed and remain below poverty line and everyone will get better medical facilities, he said.
Alleging that the BJD is mired in several scams and has even failed to protect the Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of Lord Jagannath, the BJP president said Odisha Government has not been able to meet the basic needs of people. “Vansadhara and Mahendratanaya rivers flow in Gajapati, but no projects have been constructed by the Government for the benefit of people in the district. Naveen adopts a step-motherly attitude towards Western and Southern Odisha districts,” he said.
Addressing another meeting at Umerkote, Shah wished people on the occasion of Utkal Divas and said Odisha was the first State to be carved out on the basis of Odia language. But it is deplorable that the State is being ruled by a Chief Minister who does not speak Odia, he said. “Even after 19 years of its rule, the BJD Government has failed to provide pucca houses to 50 lakh people in the State. While 12,000 villagers lack all-weather roads, people in rural areas are not getting safe drinking water. The health and education sectors are in shambles as the State Government has failed to fill up vacancies of doctors and teachers,” he claimed.
Highlighting the pro-poor welfare schemes of the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, Shah said, “During my travel to different parts of the country, I hear the chants of ‘Modi Modi’ everywhere. People of the country have already decided to re-elect Narendra Modi as their Prime Minister again.”