Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: After the ruling-BJD and Congress in Odisha, slammed PM Narendra Modi’s comments on poverty in Odisha, Union Petroleum minister defended the remarks citing Nagada malnourishment deaths, Dana Majhi episode and Japanese Encephalitis deaths as examples.

Are not these issues are proof of the level of poverty in Odisha? The union minister asked while addressing media in Bhubaneswar.

Also Read: BJD slams PM’s disparaging remarks on Odisha

He also mentioned the Raghuram Rajan Committee report which ranked Odisha as the poorest state further asking in CM’s constituency Hinjili in Ganjam district, people are migrating to other states or not in search of work?

“The issues like Nagada malnourishment deaths, Dana Majhi episode and Japanese Encephalitis deaths are not examples of hunger and poverty? These are the things which PM Narendra Modi highlighted. The CM should clarify and say that in his own constituency in Hinjili no one is going outside in search of work,” said Dharmendra.

Slamming the opposition Congress, the BJP leader said the party had itself raised issues like death of malnourished infants at Nagada in Jajpur district, the Dana Majhi episode and death of many children due to Japanese encephalitis in Malkangiri in the run up to the recent panchayat polls.

"Are these issues raised by Congress not indicators of acute poverty and malnutrition?" he asked.

The Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister claimed that BJP's showing in the recent panchayat poll in the state was a signal of a major change in the 2019 Assembly polls.

The poll result, he said, has left the ruling BJD in the state worried as people are set to dethrone it because of inefficiency and corruption.

"Panchayat poll results have given a clear signal that the people, particularly youth and women, are in a mood to bring about a major political change in the next Assembly polls," he told reporters.

The panchayat election outcome is "the beginning of a bigger change", Pradhan said, adding people have voted for BJP in a big way as they are fed up with the "inert, inefficient and corrupt" BJD government in the state.

Despite many hurdles and a reign of terror unleashed by BJD, people have backed BJP in a big way as they are impressed by the welfare programmes of the Narendra Modi government and fed up with the Naveen Patnaik regime, he said.

Pradhan said the dismal show of BJD in Badamba-Narsinghpur area, which is represented by School and Mass Education Minister Debiprasad Mishra, showed the pathetic state of education in Odisha.

BJD leaders would have to spend sleepless nights if an assembly segment-wise analysis of panchayat results is done as it would expose them, he added.