Himansu Shekhar Rout

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took potshots at the Odisha government over the supply of free rice to the people in the state.

“While the Central government has been providing rice free of cost to the people, the state government is taking the credit for it,” he observed while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra at Mahulapali in Sambalpur on Monday.

Asserting that nearly 3.25 crore people in Odisha are supplied rice free of cost on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he alleged, "The Odisha government is taking credit for it by hanging posters with state government logo and some photographs of the leaders. Such posters are found at retail outlets. This is sheer cheating. Such deceit should not be done in a democratic system.” 

Pradhan, however, claimed that the people have understood such cheating and will increasingly repose their faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Report by Debendra Behera

Pointing out the mess in the public healthcare in the region, the Union Minister said that there are no doctors at the hospitals in Kesaibahal, Bamra, Mahulpali and Kuchinda. “As the healthcare is in a shambles, the state government is solely responsible for the mess,” he stated.

Also Read: Dharmendra Pradhan drops hint about his Lok Sabha seat 

On being asked if he will contest from the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, Pradhan tactically evaded the question, saying, “It is not a personal choice. The party will decide who will fight elections from where.”
It was earlier speculated that he may contest from Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seat, given his frequent visits to the district. 

Replying to another question, the Union Minister told the media that a Kendriya Vidyalaya would be set up in Kuchinda.

No comments have been received from the State government.