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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhawanipatna: Launching a razor-sharp attack on BJD, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday termed the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government an 'annex' to the 'Congress culture'. Beginning his address here today with "Apana mane Kemiti Acchanti" (How are you all?), Modi also made a scathing attack on the Congress, during its regime.

Thanking the people for painting the Kalahandi saffron in 2017 rural polls, a confident looking PM again reiterated that Odisha will script history on May 23, like what UP did in 2017 and Tripura in 2018.  Significantly, its only yesterday a smiling Naveen debunked the earlier statement of PM that Odisha will become second Tripura.

PM today asserted, "Delhi air is reverberating with talks of Odisha going in to usher an electoral wonder this elections by bringing BJP to power and I congratulate you in advance for this," said a convinced looking Modi.

Tarring the Congress and BJD in the same brush, Modi charged both the parties of  working for scamsters and brokers, though are limited to doing lip-service for poor.  Without mincing words, Modi exhorted the huge gathering and wanted to know who they would choose - Chowkidar or Ponzi scamsters, PDS looters or MSP fraudsters?  As the enthusiastic crowd echoed with one word - chowkidar, PM Modi in his trademark style called for removal of the parties who are 'enemies' of the poor.

Political observers clearly view it as PM Modi's googly to rattle the BJD by making  2019 elections in Odisha - 'Chowkidar' versus 'Scamsters'. With many tumbled skeletons in BJD’s cupboard, PM Modi is all set for more bodyline attacks on the Naveen-led BJD government in the slog-overs to come.

Earlier hitting the campaign trail in Kalahandi, Modi in his characteristic style put a string of posers to the huge crowd. He asked, "Who has given 8lakh pucca houses to poor in Odisha? Who has brightened the houses of  24 lakh poor? Who removed darkness from 3000 villages? Who has given 40 lakh free gas connections under Ujjwala? Who has opened 1.4 cr Jan Dhan ? or Who has built 50 lakh toilets for poor?  When the venue echoed with Modi, Modi..., PM said No! "You are torchbearers, your one vote has brought the change in the style of governance,” he remarked.

Eyeing on over one-fourth tribal population in Kalahandi, PM Modi went down the memory lane to remind the people how in a first the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had set up a separate tribal ministry, and how the Ministry is now getting an allocation to the tune of around 30 per cent of the total budgetary provisioning. Besides focussing on fixing MSP for 50 forest produces, Modi didn't forget to tell the crowd about amendment to Bamboo Act, where earlier felling of bamboo trees on own cultivable land was a punishable offence.

Modi lambasted the BJD government for stonewalling Centre's flagship programmes like PM-KISAN and Ayushman Yojana. Recalling his association with Kalahandi since 90s, when he first toured Kalahandi during the Ekta yatra, Modi urged the people to change the 19 year Naveen-led BJD rule. "Nineteen years is a long period, a child could graduate to a voter in the period. The State government is a status quoist," Modi, the second PM after Devegowda to visit Kalahandi in 23 years, charged.

Reacting to PM Modi's comments, BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra questioned why has the Centre not been able to fulfil its promises it made five years ago before coming to power.

Targeting PM Modi, Patra said, "The BJP government at the Centre has failed in delivering promises like special status category to Odisha. PM Modi is boasting about 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikash' but why has its government stopped releasing funds under BRGF and KBK schemes. We have already seen how the 'double engine' government of BJP has miserably failed in Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan."

The Congress too hit back towards the BJP and PM Modi. Senior party leader Panchanan Kanungo said people of five states have already given a befitting reply to the 'liar' (michhua) and if he (PM Modi) keeps on making false promises, it will be more detrimental to their party.

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