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Ramakanta Biswas

Days after the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Odisha released the preliminary damage assessment report of the recent floods in the State, the Opposition BJP on Thursday held the State government responsible for the disaster and demanded an apology from the Chief Minister.

Addressing a presser at the party headquarters in Bhubaneswar, BJP General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan alleged that the State government had completely failed in the flood water management. He alleged that the coordination meeting between Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments which is supposed to be held twice a year has not been organised in the past 3-4 years.

"The Engineer-in-Chief had initially said that flood is unlikely. However, the concerned minister then said moderate flood is predicted. Just two days later, the special relief commissioner (SRC) said there will be heavy flood. This demonstrates a lack of coordination between officials," Harichandan said.

“In the aftermath of the flood, the State government has also completely failed in the rescue operation and distribution of relief to victims. Therefore, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should apologise to the people of the State for flood mismanagement,” he added.

A BJP delegation has reviewed the flood situation in the State and submitted a report to the party’s state unit president Samir Mohanty. The party also released a complaint letter describing the flood a man-made disaster.

The incompetency of the BJD government has drowned Odisha. Administrative negligence, carelessness and incompetency of the State government is more responsible for the recent flood than the natural causes. Overall, we can say that the flood was man-made, the complaint letter read. 

“The BJP delegation has submitted the complaint letter. I am placing it before you and hope that you will spread it to 4.5 crore people of the State,” State BJP president Samir Mohanty told mediapersons.

Reacting to the allegations, BJD MLA Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “BJD never compromised with its conscience and is always with the people, during good as well as bad times. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is reviewing the situation to face the aftermath of the flood. If the Opposition ignores all these efforts, we have nothing to say.”

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