BJD hits back at BJP, Congress; accuses Saffron party of ‘diverting topic’

Bhubaneswar: In a strong reply to the accusations of Odisha BJP that the Naveen Patnaik government has failed to complete several irrigation projects, BJD today blamed the Centre for not providing enough funds to develop the irrigation facility in the State.

Talking to media persons, senior BJD leader Pratap Deb said instead of blaming BJD, BJP should first share details of Central assistance to Odisha towards development of irrigational sector.

Earlier in the day, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma lashed out at the ruling party and said the State has a defunct water resources department which has not been able to complete the irrigation projects as announced in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

“It is Odisha’s misfortune that the irrigation department has an ‘incompetent’ minister. Several Central projects are yet to see the light of the day. Work for 77 playgrounds out of 480 is also yet to be completed. CM Naveen had also assured jobs in local areas to village youths. When will the youth policy of the ruling government come into force?” asked Sharma.

In his reply, Deb accused BJP of diverting the topic and said, “The Saffron party had mentioned in its manifesto before the 2014 Lok Sabha election to provide better irrigation facility to all the agricultural regions across the country. Based on that manifesto, I had asked them to share details of the Central assistance to each State. However, BJP is trying to escape from the question.”

“As per the State government’s target to irrigate 10 lakh hectares of land by 2019, in last three years, four lakh hectares have already been irrigated,” added Deb.

Earlier, Congress had also posed questions to the Naveen government’s water resources, sports and IT departments.