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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Slamming both the BJD and Congress for failing to ensure development in Odisha, BJP's National President Amit Shah today urged the people of the State to give mandate to PM Modi-led government. Lambasting the ruling-BJD, Shah said Odisha is rich in natural resources and youths, but the State has not seen development, because it is being ruled by a government which cannot even safeguard the Ratna Bhandar of Lord Jagannath in Puri Srimandir.

"Odisha is still at the same place where it was19 years ago, so it is time to dislodge the government and give a chance to Modi. Give us five years, and we assure that our government will make Odisha the number one State in the country," Shah said while addressing party’s 'Jabab Maguchi Odisha' meeting at Salepur in Cuttack today.

The BJP chief pointed out that in the last four and a half years, Modi government has released Rs 5.13 lakh crore to Odisha but the amount has not reached the people of the State. He also questioned why the Naveen-led government has not allowed several Central welfare schemes including the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to reach people’s doorsteps.

“Even when the Centre has made provisions for toilets for each and every family, people of Odisha are still deprived of the benefits, because the one who is ruling the State fears that it would increase the popularity of PM Modi,” he said.

Coming down hard on the Congress, Shah claimed that ‘Rahul baba’s (AICC president Rahul Gandhi) forefathers ruled the country for 55 years but LPG connections could not reach the people. But as soon as Modiji became the PM, cooking gas connections have increased manifold.

Ahead of the crucial elections, Shah also gave poll mantras to the party workers and urged them to work hard. “We will not rest till we see Modiji take oath as the Prime Minister of the country for the second time,” he said.

Responding to Shah’s comments, OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said such a tone could be an attempt to save the party's face after Narendra Modi went easy on Naveen Patnaik during his last visit.

The ruling BJD however said that Amit Shah’s criticism will have no effect on their party and its prospects.

“This is not the first time, Shah is visiting Odisha, so however hard he may try to inspire his party workers and disparages the ruling-BJD, it will only backfire,” said BJD leader and minister Sashi Bhusan Behera.

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