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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Parlakhemundi/Umerkote: Hitting out at Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Government frontally, the BJP President Amit Shah on Monday exhorted voters to uproot the 'brazenly corrupt' BJD government and bring BJP government in the State.

After paying respects to Odisha's legendary figures on Utkala Dibasa during his visit to the State, Shah fired first salvo at CM Patnaik. "Odisha was first State constituted on linguistic basis. Even after 19 years rule, Patnaik is unable to speak Odia extempore," taunted Shah. In same vein, Shah asked the crowd whom do you wish to see as Odisha CM - the one who knows Odia or an English speaking CM.

The BJP President then hauled up BJD government for its inability to provide jobs to youths after a long stint of 19 years. "As many as 30,000 Odias live in Surat. They vote for BJP there. Gujarat is happy for their contribution. But moot question is why youths have to travel to such far off places for work," reasoned Shah.

He criticised the State Government for straddling at the bottom nationally in provisioning safe drinking water to all houses in Odisha. He pulled no punches while slamming the BJD government for failing to provide doctors in health centres. BJP President criticised the BJD government for not completing the pending Mahendratanaya and Vamsadhara irrigation projects. "Farmers don't get adequate water for their crops here," he lamented and asked the gathering to not repeat the mistake and instead give BJP a chance to serve Odisha.

Raking up the emotional Ratna Bhandar flip-flop, Shah took a jibe at Patnaik for the colossal mismanagement. "Naveen babu is thinking its mere money matters; whereas Ratna Bhandar is a sign of prosperity and progress of Odisha," he mocked.

Making a comparison, Shah claimed Modi-led NDA govt has devolved Rs 5.65 lakh crore to Odisha in last 5-years against mere Rs 80, 000 crore by Congress-led UPA. "Modi government has completed four major rail projects in Odisha in last 5-years," he said and slammed Naveen govt for not giving land rights to tribal people.

Likening the BJD government to a burnt transformer, Shah gave a clarion call at Umerkote to uproot the government. He raked up the Citizenship Amendment Bill that grants equal rights to Hindu/Sikh refugees. Eying sizeable Bengali community here, Shah recalled how BJD, Congress together blocked the passage of the bill.

National security and Balakote seemed top on BJP poll agenda, when Shah asked the crowd do you want terrorists be left unpunished? He said Narendra Modi government is only government that could give effective response. When Modi government hit terror camps, Congress party is speaking voice of Pakistan, thundered Shah.

In a big hint, Shah at the election meeting said Odisha needs a young Chief Minister. This assumes significance when BJP is yet to name its CM candidate for the upcoming 2019 elections. Political observers read it BJP's strategy to rule out seniors from CM race.

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