Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today lashed out at the Odisha government accusing it of corruption and said that the State has been entirely knocked off the development path in the last 18 years.

Addressing a public gathering during BJP's ‘Jabab Maguchhi Odisha’ programme here on Wednesday, Pradhan alleged that Naveen is feeding the 'demon' of corruption. Pradhan brought up the name of Saroj Sahu, the personal aide of Odisha CM who was earlier interrogated by CBI for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore chit fund scam. Pradhan sought clarification from Naveen on CBI's summon to Sahu.

Pradhan further said: "Naveen who is vouching for 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament must first clarify how many women ministers are there in his own cabinet. At a time when Kunduli gang rape victim had to commit suicide and women and children of Gumudumaha are still crying, the CM should stop shedding crocodile tears."

"Though in the last 70-75 days, crude prices have declined by around Rs 20; the State government earlier didn't slash VAT on fuel to ease the pain of 4.5 crore people of Odisha. The BJD president should give details of the land acquired for the Khurda-Bolangir railway line. No land has been acquired in Sonepur and Boudh districts; and the situation is same in case of Haridaspur-Paradeep railway line project. Odisha never used to get Rs 1000 crore in railway budget, but now it is getting around Rs 5000 crore," said Pradhan while responding to Naveen's allegations of Central assistance.

[caption id="attachment_342978" align="aligncenter" width="750"]CM Naveen Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik During BJD's 21st Foundation Day[/caption]

Earlier today, on the occasion of the party's 21st foundation day, Naveen had said that even though Odisha has provided the required land for the Khurda-Bolangir railway line free of cost and is bearing half of the project cost, the work for the same is yet to begin. He also said that Odisha neither wants special category state status nor Central assistance, rather financial autonomy to become the No. 1 state of South Asia.