Odisha lost 25 yrs under Naveen Patnaik government: Amit Shah

Shah said that the state has not been able to utilise even Rs 5,000 crore under Jal Jeevan Mission and a large number of households are going without tap water. 
Union Home Minister Amit Shah being greeted with a huge garland by BJP workers during the public meeting at Sonepur on Thursday
Union Home Minister Amit Shah being greeted with a huge garland by BJP workers during the public meeting at Sonepur on Thursday Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Setting the tone for the BJP’s election campaign pitch, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday tore into the BJD government for keeping Odisha underdeveloped when several backward states have made rapid progress with accelerated growth of four to five times.

Addressing an impressive ‘Vijay Sankalp Samabesh’ at Sonepur, the first election rally by any of the top guns of the BJP, Shah launched a scathing attack on the Naveen Patnaik government accusing it of failing to resolve basic problems of the people in 25 years while Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed many critical issues of the country like Article 370, Triple Talaq and Ram Mandir in the last 10 years.

“It was lost years for Odisha under Naveen Patnaik government. Time has come for the people to uproot the inefficient and corrupt BJD government and install a double-engine government to take the state into the pinnacle of progress,” Shah thundered.

Invoking Lord Jagannath and revered deities of western Odisha, Shah said it is a matter of shame that people from the state are still migrating to places like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Surat and even Punjab despite abundant natural resources in Odisha.

Dubbing the BJD government as ‘nikamma’ (useless), the BJP stalwart said massive corruption is its hallmark and the public suffering has compounded as the government is run by a few bureaucrats.

Without mentioning the proposed Choudwar textile park, Shah targeted the misplaced priority of state government as it has no plan for revival of the closed textile industries in the western region including the one at Sonepur.

“Instead of setting up textile industries where cotton cultivation is taken up in a massive way, the state government is planning it elsewhere. There is no logic as western Odisha disticts are major producers of cotton,” Shah said adding, his party will set up a textile industry, a fisheries college, agro industry and an ayurvedic medicinal plant in the region.

“You gave 25 years to BJD. Give five years to BJP and see how a double-engine government solves all problems,” he exhorted the people of the state.

Recounting the liberal financial assistance given to the state government in the last 10 years, Shah said the Centre released more than Rs 10,000 crore under Jal Jeevan Mission for supply of tap water to all the households. The state has not been able to utilise even Rs 5,000 crore and a large number of households are going without tap water.

Clearing the doubt among party workers that he may go soft on BJD after the failed talk of alliance, Shah called the Chief Minister as a liar for claiming credit for the free rice given to families covered under National Food Security Act and houses under PMAY. “Scared of Modi popularity, the Naveen Patnaik government is not implementing Ayushman Bharat scheme depriving the poor people from availing free health services,” he said.

While assailing the regional party for ruining the Sri Jagannath Temple heritage, Shah said the inauguration of the temple corridor project at Puri was deliberately done during the Ram Mandir consecration at Ayodhya to divert the attention of the people of Odisha. “Let the BJP come to power in the state, we will improve the temple town like Kashi Viswanath in Varanasi,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Balangir MP Sangeeta Kumari Singhdeo, state BJP president Manmohan Samal and senior leader KV Singhdeo.

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