2 years of Modi for Odisha: BJP crows, BJD cribs, Cong cries ‘deal’

Bhubaneswar: While the BJP presented a long list of programs initiated in the two years of PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, Odisha’s ruling party feels that many promises made to the State are still to be met.

The Odisha Congress, on the other hand, has alleged that there is a ‘deal’ between the BJP and BJD to bail out each other.

The BJP, pointed to the fact that Odisha received Rs 4,681 crore, the highest so far, in the Railway budget this year. The Labour ministry has set up a 500-bed capacity super specialty hospital in Bhubaneswar at a cost of Rs 400 crore in Bhubaneswar and two 100-bed capacity ESI hospitals at Duburi and Angul. While the Human Resources ministry counted setting up of IIM, IISER and NISER in the state among its achievements, the Power ministry largesse includes electrification of 1277 villages and power to 41,626 BPL families. The Agriculture ministry has sent Rs 1131 crore through SDRF and Rs 815 crore through NDRF, the BJP crowed.

The Union Urban Development ministry has spent Rs 1035 crore, while the Petroleum ministry’s assistance is reflected in Paradip Refinery, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Skill Development institute in Bhubaneswar, LNG terminal in Dhamra, and Rs 1 lakh crore investment in Hydrocarbon sector which promises 50,000 employment, the saffron party said.

“In many Central programs, assistance has been increased. More than 70% people are now covered under NFSA. Funds are directly reaching the Panchayats. If these are the things which the State government is not taking into account, then they would know better,” said Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

“Huge amount of funds have been provided for the development of tribals. Asharam schools, Kanya Ashrams, Ekalavya model residential schools, provision of sending stipend directly to students are some of the initiatives that have been taken in the past two years,” said Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram.

Though the ruling BJD was mum over the central negligence during the first year of Modi’s reign, it became vocal in criticizing the Centre over a host of issues, including rice quota under NFSA and Polavaram, during the second year. According to BJD, the State has not received a single penny out of the pending mining royalty amounting to Rs 45,000 crore.

Odisha’s lack of presence in the industrial corridor map, closure of 8 programs in 2 years, reduction in central assistance under 26 programs are some examples of the neglect towards Odisha by the centre, alleged BJD.

“By throttling various schemes without consulting the State, the Centre is neglecting Odisha one way or the other. For drought, we demanded assistance worth Rs 2,359.99 crore, but we have only received Rs 605 crore. They are not providing even what they committed,” said BJD spokesperson Amar Sathpaty.

On the other hand, Congress is of the opinion that Odisha has lost more than it gained during the two years of Modi’s government at the Centre. The Congress targeted the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, saying it is the “B team” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Taking a swipe at the BJD and BJP, All-India Congress Committee spokesperson and Congress MP Sushmita Dev said the two parties have struck a deal to bail out each other.

“BJD is a party without any ideology. It is an opportunist party, which favours the BJP at the Centre even though it is claiming to be opposed to the BJP,” Dev said.

Dev also termed the Naveen Patnaik government as a MoU-signing government.