BJD blames Congress for discrimination against Odisha
Bhubaneswar: Alleging discrimination against Odisha, ruling BJD on Tuesday claimed that UPA government at the Centre was yet to release any money even 24 days after the destruction by Cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods in the state.
The postponement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's scheduled November 2 visit to Odisha to oversee the situation also drew flak from BJD.
"This is a classic case of political discrimination of the UPA government towards BJD-ruled Odisha. We have not got even one rupee though two separate memoranda have been submitted to the central government, besides the chief minister's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh," BJD vice-president and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das told reporters here.
"When the PM and Sonia Gandhi can go to see the situation in Uttarakhand, what prevented them from coming to Odisha," state Agriculture Minister and senior BJD leader D P Mishra said.
The people of Odisha would never forgive Congress for this, Das said and announced to launch a campaign against such 'discrimination'.
It was a matter of 'sorrow' that the UPA government neglected the people of Odisha during calamities. The state required at least Rs 2,000 crore immediately to carry on its ongoing restoration and rehabilitation activities in the cyclone and flood hit districts, he said.
Mishra said the prime minister announced Rs 1,000 crore central assistance for Congress-ruled Uttarakhand barely two days after it was hit by flash floods. "But, in the case of Odisha neither the prime minister nor any other central minister came here.
The number of people affected in Uttarakhand was 16 lakh compared to 2.13 crore in Odisha, he said adding in the case of Congress-ruled Assam the prime minister had announced Rs 500 crore adhoc central assistance to it during the floods in that state in 2012.
The Centre had also declared financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore during the floods in Bihar in 2008 even before the receipt of the report from the central team, he added.