Elections 2019: CM Naveen on campaign trail; targets Centre in Jharsuguda

Jharsuguda: With the crucial general elections round the corner, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has now turned its focus on western Odisha. BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik sounded the poll bugle by launching a scathing attack on BJP-led Central government at a mega public meeting held at Jharsuguda today.

Naveen inaugurated and laid foundation stones for several projects worth Rs 600 crore in Jharsuguda today. While addressing a public rally at Amlipalli, Naveen lambasted the Centre for neglecting Odisha. He alleged that PM Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Jharsuguda airport with much fanfare, but regular flight operations are yet to begin.

Besides, Patnaik also demanded a Shatabdi express from Jharsuguda to Bhubaneswar and accused that the Centre is not revising coal royalty despite repeated demands.

As expected, the former Congress MLA from Jharsuguda, Naba Das joined BJD in presence of Naveen Patnaik, who claimed that Das would strengthen BJD’s organisation in the region. After joining BJD, Naba Das stated that he joined BJD to usher in development in Jharsuguda.

“We want Jharsuguda to be the commercial capital of Odisha. Apart from this we want a hospital, medical college and a railway division and the CM should also write to Centre for an AIIMs in Jharsuguda,” said Das adding that he has written to Odisha Assembly Speaker expressing his intention to quit his post as a legislator.

On the other hand, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Naba Das’ joining is an internal affair of BJD. But the party is certainly becoming a coalition of corrupt people, he added. “BJD is trying to cheat people, youths of Western Odisha and they will not succeed in their attempts,” alleged Pradhan.

While responding to CM Naveen Patnaik’s Central negligence remarks, BJP’s national secretary Suresh Pujari said, “CM is raking up the Central neglect issue to hide his own failures.” Pujari further stated that Odisha government is not able to spend the central funds towards the development of the State.

“Naveen Patnaik is repeating the issue as an old gramophone record. He must now answer the people of Odisha what he has done in the last 20 years,” Pujari added.

Later, while attending a programme of Biju Yuva Bahini in Bolangir, CM Patnaik announced that the State government is considering to upgrade Rajendra College into a university.