Congress will form next government in Odisha: Kharge

Kharge said the INDIA alliance is trying to save democracy and the Constitution.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday claimed his party will form the next government in Odisha.

“BJD and BJP have ruined the state. People will not vote for them. After 24 years, Congress will again come to power in Odisha,” Kharge told mediapersons here.

He asserted BJP will not return to power at the Centre and said this time an INDIA alliance government will be sworn to save democracy, protect the Constitution and ensure unity of the country. The BJP at the most will get around 200 seats, he said.

Coming down on the BJD government, the Congress chief said as per a recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, the rate of unemployment in Odisha is 41 per cent. “What has Naveen Patnaik done. If a man sits at one place for 24 years and does not think about his people, I do not understand how is he asking for votes with a straight face?” he said.

Stating the Odisha government is known as corrupt because of chit-fund, mining and other scams, he said, though there is an abundance of natural resources in the state but they are used by other states. He said BJD cannot claim to have ushered in industrialisation in the state as big plants were set up by Congress much before the party came to power.

Kharge also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not keeping his promises. “Where have promises like providing Rs 15 lakh per person, doubling of farmers’ income by 2022, two crore jobs per year and other such things gone. Prices of all essential commodities, oil and LPG increased,” he said, while sarcastically twisting BJP’s quote to “Modi hai to mumkin hai.”

He said BJP is equally responsible for backwardness of the state as it did not help people and left everything to the chief minister. “If we want to remove the ills, we will have to change both the governments at the Centre and state,” Kharge added.

Stating Odisha is an important state for Congress, the Congress chief said many party leaders from the state participated in the freedom struggle. “Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruji got support from Biju Patnaik sahab during independence struggle,” he said.

Kharge said the INDIA alliance is trying to save democracy and the Constitution. “We are also fighting against hate speeches and want to keep India united,” he added.

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