Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The BJP today came down heavily on the BJD government saying it has disappointed the people of Odisha during its 16-year rule.

“In my honest opinion, the performance of the BJD government in the last 16 years is dismal. A party, in spite of in power for such a long time, has failed to provide basic amenities like drinking water and electricity to the people. Apart from this, the government has squarely failed to give justice to the people who are duped by the chit fund companies. It has also failed to overcome the unemployment problem in the state,” BJP leader and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan told media persons at the Biju Patnaik airport here before leaving for Balasore to supervise the arrangements being made for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled on June 2.

“Since the BJD government, during its 16-year tenure, has garnered massive support of the people, the party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik should take up the responsibility for the all round development of the people and the state. The chief minister should realise that he has thoroughly disappointed the people by giving them an inept and corrupt government”, Pradhan observed.

Referring to the anti-Centre stand of the state government, Pradhan said the Centre, under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), had taken additional financial burden by bringing down the price of the 25 kg rice from Rs 30 to Rs 27. On the other hand, the Odisha government is gives rice to the people at Rs 1 a kg and takes the credit by telling them that it is the scheme of the state government.

Referring to another instance, he said the state government had recently announced that it has dedicated 10 houses to the people in two years under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana.

“The state government in the Assembly in December last year had informed that it had constructed 3.5 lakh houses for the poor. I request the state government to at least give the details to the media, if not the opposition, that how it could dedicate the remaining 6.5 lakh houses in three and half months,” he told the media persons.

He also said the state government has announced it has a target to construct 15 lakh houses in three years. “Where from the government will arrange money for construction of these houses?” On the other hand, Prime Minister, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, has raised the number of houses under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) from 70,000 to 1.5 lakh for Odisha. Considering this, the state government should have its own assessment instead of fooling the people of Odisha by giving them the wrong information,” he pointed out.

He further said the state government has not been able to utilise the Central assistance for the poor and needy. “Even the chief minister during his meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi yesterday had admitted that the state government has not been able to utilise about 50 percent of the Central assistance,” Pradhan said.

Asked to comment on the the allegation of the BJD government on Central apathy towards Odisha, the Union minister said the Prime Minister for the first time had called up the chief ministers of the drought affected states for a discussion on the status of agriculture, animal resources, water resources, drinking water and the livelihood of the poor in their state.

“As the NDA government strongly believes in federalism, the intention of the Prime Minister to convene such meeting was that the Centre and the states would work together for the inclusive development of the country,” he said.

Talking about the visit of the Prime Minister, he said to mark the completion of two years of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the Prime Minister will pay his visit to Odisha on June 2.

“The Prime Minister will address a public meeting on the performance of the NDA government in the last two years,” he informed.

He said during the two-year rule of the NDA government, a number of short-term, medium and long-term schemes have been launched to strengthen the economy of the country, raise employment opportunity and make the women self-reliant.

Terming the statements of Pradhan as baseless and unacceptable, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the issues the Union minister has raised against Odisha, the Centre has also equally failed on these issues.

“Let the Union minister say how many promises his party had made in its election manifesto for Odisha, has fulfilled. None of the promises like hike in mining royalty, construction of National Highway through Odisha and development of industrial corridor linking Odisha with the neighbouring states has been fulfilled till date,” Deb claimed.

Referring to the Central assistance, the BJD leader said how the Centre, which has drastically slashed its funding in agriculture, irrigation, women and child development and tribal welfare, claims that it has sanctioned more funds to the state?

Citing another instance, he said the BJP, which in its election manifesto, had assured that it would accord special category status to Odisha if it comes to power, has gone back on its promise.

“In my opinion, the Centre should tell what it has done for Odisha instead of what the state government has done for its people. It would have been better had Pradhan briefed the media about what the Centre in the last two years has done for Odisha,” he noted.

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