Bhubaneswar: Eight days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the crowd at a Vikas Utsav rally in Balasore to shout loud enough so that the state government sitting in Bhubaneswar could hear it, Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday tore into the BJD government without naming it saying it is blind despite having eyes and lame despite having legs.
Leaving no one in doubt who he was hinting at, Gadkari said; “Aaj aisi sarkarein hein jinki aankhen hain, par dikhta nahin….haath hain par hilte nahin….pair hain par chaltet nahin.” (There are governments which are blind despite having eyes, their hands don’t work, feet don’t move).
“Na niti hai….na karyakram hai….na disha hai…..Log chun kar vote de rahen hai….woh aa rahen hai…kya bol rahen hain samajh mein nahin aa raha. (There is neither policy, nor programmes nor direction….people are exercising votes and they are forming government….Nobody can understand what they are saying)," he continued addressing party workers here in what was easily the sharpest attack on the Naveen Patnaik government by a senior Central leader of the BJP so far.
During his hour-long speech, the Union minister didn’t spare the bureaucrats and ministers, and criticized them for being unresponsive to the people on the State government’s developmental agendas.
“I can’t understand how it (BJD) is forming the government and what it does. The ministers don’t know what the bureaucrats do….The people don’t know what the government is doing,” the minister said sarcastically.
“Development and prosperity can’t be visualized this way,” he signed off.
Gadkari’s scathing attack bore an eerie resemblance to the no-holds-barred attack on the BJD government launched by Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan during which he had termed the State government ‘inefficient’ and ‘bankrupt’.
Taken together, the attack by the two ministers is being seen as a change in tack by the BJP leadership, which has refrained from criticising the BJD government strongly for two years.