BERHAMPUR: Ahead of the General Elections, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday launched into his campaign trail holding a massive road show in Berhampur. Embarking on a hi-tech campaign in a specially designed customised bus, Naveen came down heavily on the BJP for betraying the people of the State by giving false assurances of development. He cornered the party over its failure to grant special category status to Odisha. Even the promise to provide employment to 10 crore jobless youths proved to be a hoax, he added.
The Central Government and its leaders have indulged in blatant lies, Naveen said and hurled a flurry of questions towards them. The BJP leaders are now flocking to the State as the elections are on and are making tall promises. Where were they when the people of the State needed them most.
They did not come during Phailin, Hudhud, the most recent Titli cyclone last year or even the droughts affecting the State. The Centre had never stood by the people of Odisha when they were facing the wrath of nature during and after a series of cyclonic storms that devastated the State, he stated.
“Where is women’s reservation Bill? Where is farmers’ insurance? Why did not Odisha receive any cooperation and help from Centre,” he asked.“However, I was with you and will be with you,” he said, adding, “the 4.5 crore people of Odisha are with me and with their support, I will continue my endeavour for all-round development of the State.” The BJP leaders are now shedding crocodile tears. They are coming during elections and forgetting Odisha after elections, he said.
Accusing the Opposition parties of working against the interests of farmers, the Chief Minister said they were protesting against the KALIA scheme which has shown the way to the country in ensuring farmers’ welfare. Around 40 lakh farmers have already benefited from the landmark scheme and 20 lakh more have been added to the list.
“The farmers of Odisha will give a befitting reply to the parties in these elections,” he asserted.Naveen moved through the main thoroughfares of the city and was greeted by thousands of people and party supporters all along the route. BJD candidates Chandra Sekhar Sahu and Bikram Panda followed Naveen’s bus on motorcade. Police regulated traffic for smooth flow of the Chief Minister’s road show.
The Chief Minister addressed meetings at Berhampur and Konisi. His meetings at Chhatrapur, Rambha and Gopalpur were cancelled owing to delay in schedule.