BHUBANESWAR: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday lashed out at the BJD government, accusing it of not cooperating with the Centre in the implementation of important projects in the state. "Odisha government has not been extending necessary cooperation and help for proper implementation of a number of projects. As a result, the railways network in the state still remains poor," the minister alleged.
Goyal addressed a number of election programmes in Puri, Athagarh and Kendrapara, besides taking part in a roadshow at Mahakalapada under the Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency, where the party has fielded ex-MP Baijayant Panda.
Mounting a scathing attack on the Naveen Patnaik-led government, Goyal said it has failed to take necessary steps to expedite land acquisition for several railways projects. "It has almost become impossible to execute railway projects in Odisha, due to the state government's non- cooperation in land acquisition. The BJD government has pushed the state into backwardness," Goyal said.
Dismissing BJD's allegations of negligence by the Centre, he said instead of discharging its duty, the BJD government is blaming others in order to mislead the people during elections. The NDA government has given more central assistance to Odisha than that of the previous UPA governments, Goyal said. "For his own narrow political gains, Naveen Babu is not allowing the central schemes to be implemented in the state. By not allowing the Ayushmaan Bharat scheme to be operational in Odisha, Patnaik has denied poor Odias from getting benefits of the ambitious health insurance scheme," the minister said.
He said as Union finance minister, he had allotted a budget for assistance to the small and marginal farmers. "An annual assistance of Rs 6,000 would be given to all farmers in three equal instalments, and the first instalment was provided to all the farmers of the country in February and March," Goyal said. However, Odisha beneficiaries were deprived of this because the state government failed to provide the list of the farmers, the BJP leader alleged.