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Dharmendra Pradhan counters Naveen over ‘election tourism’ jibe

The Union Minister’s reply came in response to the CM’s allegation that Central BJP leaders visit the State only during elections and disappear when the people are in distress.  

Published: 25th April 2019 04:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2019 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: With the race for power escalating into a slugfest in recent weeks over the performance of BJD in the State and BJP at the Centre, the two principal rival political parties once again accused each other of stalling the progress of Odisha.

After Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik slammed the saffron party for coming in the way of the medical college and hospital (MCH) in Balasore, State BJP vice president and the party’s Balasore district in-charge Samir Mohanty said there is no grain of truth in the CM’s allegation.

The Centre has kept its promise by providing its share of contribution for construction of Fakir Mohan MCH, Balasore like it did for other four medical colleges in Koraput, Balangir, Baripada and Puri. The CM is spreading lies to mislead voters, Mohanty said.

Responding to Naveen’s allegation that a particular Central Minister (indicating Dharmendra Pradhan) was creating hurdles for Balasore medical college and trying to shift it to other district, Mohanty said the former should explain why his Government has not given  clearance by proving no objection certificate (NOC) to the MCH set up by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited at Talcher in Angul district.

Reacting sharply to the ‘election tourism’ jibe of the CM, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan hit back asking, “Where was he (Naveen) when Union Agriculture Minister visited the house of Brunda Sahu, the Bargarh farmer who committed suicide over crop failure?”

Perhaps memory is failing the CM as he is unable to recollect that he accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his several visits to the State for inauguration of various development projects at Jharsuguda, Talcher and in the State Capital, he said. Reminding Naveen about the visit of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Koraput for review of Naxal problems, Pradhan said being the administrative head of the State, the CM has never spent a night in the Maoist-hit district during his 19 years of rule.

Moreover, Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, National Highway and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati and several others had come to Odisha on many occasions for review of works of their Ministries, Pradhan said.

The Union Minister’s reply came in response to the CM’s allegation that Central BJP leaders visit the State only during elections and disappear when the people are in distress.  

“Where were these leaders (of BJP) when natural calamities like cyclone, flood and drought hit Odisha? These leaders just shed crocodile tear for the people of the State,” questioned Naveen during many of his election rallies.



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