Naveen throws back ‘nine-point’ questions to Modi, repeats ‘Jabab Maguchhi Odisha’

Bhubaneswar: Blowing the election bugle on the occasion of the party’s 21st foundation day function at the party headquarters here on Wednesday, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik today counter punched the BJP stalwart Narendra Modi in his inimitable style.

Addressing a huge gathering, the BJD supremo hit out at Modi counter shooting nine questions to the PM as ‘Jabab Maguchhi Odisha’ (Odisha Seeks Answers). Modi during his Odisha visit on December 24 had thrown many questions at Odisha government seeking answers.

“People suffered due to demonitisation, there is no proper bank services, farmers are not getting crops insurance amount, SC/ST students are not getting stipend from the Centre for the last two years, Ujjwala Yojana failed as people couldn’t refill cylinders due to high LPG prices; Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) is earning around Rs 20,000 crore every year but Odisha is getting back only pollution, Railway is taking Rs 20,000 crore but giving Odisha only Rs 2000 crore… Odisha seeks answers to all these questions,” exhorted Patnaik.

Lashing out at the Centre for the alleged miserable condition of National Highways in Odisha, the BJD chief said that even though the State provided the required land for the Khurda-Bolangir railway line free of cost and bore half of the project cost, the work for the same is yet to begin. “Growth in railway has been witnessed but only in terms of train and platform tickets,” he added.

“I don’t want special category status nor Central assistance; give me financial autonomy and I will make Odisha the No 1 State of South Asia. Odisha can be fully nurtured with its own money and our fight for the rights of the State will continue,” he said.

In response to Patnaik’s allegations, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the BJD president should clarify details of the land acquired for the Khurda-Bolangir line. Not even a single piece of land has been acquired in Sonepur and Boudh districts; and same is the case of Haridaspur-Paradeep railway line.

“Odisha was never getting more than Rs 1000 crore in railway budget but now the State is getting around Rs 5000 crore. Is it not visible to Naveen Patnaik? He is hiding his failures; he should answer who is responsible for the rampant corruption in Odisha,” said Pradhan.

On the other hand, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik also took a dig at CM Naveen Patnaik stating that 85 lakh youth in Odisha are languishing due to lack of employment opportunities.

“Odisha had a loan burden of Rs 18000 crore in 2000 which is now Rs 93000 crore; farmers’ suicide cases have increased in the 18 years of BJD rule, 65 per cent people of Odisha are now below poverty line, no full-fledged irrigation project, no industrial projects… If Naveen babu thinks all these things are the signs of growth and development that his party has achieved in the last 18 years, it’s unfortunate and I have nothing to say,” said the OPCC president.