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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar/Nuapada: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday claimed the ruling-Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is making sure that the party president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patniak inaugurates and lays foundation stones for as many projects as possible before the upcoming panchayat elections.

The BJP’s scathing attack came soon after CM Naveen dedicated a slew of projects in Nuapada including the Lower Indra irrigation project. While it is claimed that over 1.5 lakh people will be benefited from the irrigation project, the Opposition BJP termed the inauguration as a farce ‘only to mislead people’.

Addressing a presser, senior BJP leader Pradeep Purohit today said that the inauguration has been done even though the project is yet to be completed and this move (inauguration) by the ruling party is just part of its ‘western Odisha focus’ to woo voters ahead of the ensuing panchayat polls.

“The State government should first answer whether works on the canal of Lower Suktel project has been completed. As the canal has not been built as yet, farmers will not get water even though the Chief Minister today inaugurated the project. It’s just a farce,” alleged Purohit.

The farmers in the region may have to wait for another 5-10 years to get their farmland irrigated by water from the project. “So, there was no need of the CM inaugurating it today in a hustle. It would have been better if the CM had inaugurated the project after farmers received water for irrigation purpose,” he opined.

He further said that several projects in the State (foundation of which had been laid years or even decades ago) are having a death by apathy. “In 2004, the CM had laid foundation of Uttali project in Sohela but even after 17 years, canal work is yet to begin. The Rs 1200-core Gangadhar Meher irrigation project, foundation stone for which was laid by the Odisha CM in 2017, is yet to see the light of the day,” he added.

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