ROURKELA: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday accused Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of seeking an unstable Government at the Centre and also promised five kg rice, ½ kg pulse and ½ kg salt to the poor for `1 if BJP comes to power in the State. In a whirlwind campaign tour, Pradhan addressed four rallies in Bonai, Rajgangpur, Talsara and Birmitrapur Assembly seats seeking votes for his Tribal Affairs counterpart and Sundargarh Lok Sabha candidate of BJP Jual Oram and other party candidates.
Ending his campaign at Bisra in Birmitrapur for BJP candidate Shankar Oram, Pradhan claimed that Naveen wants an unstable and weak Government at the Centre. “While Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a strong and stable Government, Naveen along with AICC president Rahul Gandhi, opposition leaders and Pakistan PM want an weak Government in India” he said. Pradhan said despite ruling the State for 19 years, the Naveen-led Government has failed to provide basic amenities to the people. There are no doctors, teachers, irrigation, uninterrupted power and water supply as well as employment.
“While there are no jobs for Odia youths, Naveen gave employment to mining mafia of Tamil Nadu Prabhakaran along with the keys of the State’s coffers,” he alleged. On the other hand, Modi Government provided electricity to 24 lakh households, 40 lakh LPG connections, built 10 lakh houses and 50 lakh toilets for women in Odisha, Padhan said. He accused the BJD Government of depriving poor families and farmers of the Centre’s Ayusman Bharat and Krishi Kalyan Yojana scheme. The Union Minister claimed that Modi Government provided `5.5 lakh development fund to Odisha, but it was misappropriated. In 2014, the BJD formed Government and got 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, but did nothing for people, he said.
Taking a jibe at Rahul for raising doubts over the air strikes by Indian Army, Pradhan appealed to the gathering to defeat Congress and the father- son duo of Geroge Tirkey and Rohit Trikey contesting from Sundargarh Lok Sabha and Birmitrapur Assembly seats respectively. Pradhan urged the people to remove the corrupt and inefficient BJD Government and help form double engine governments in Odisha and at Centre and promised to fulfil the promises in BJP’s manifesto if the saffron party comes to power in the State.