Naveen’s absence from PM Modi’s official programmes is ‘intentional’: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar/Bolangir: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have gone soft on the ruling-BJD once again, but Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan made sure he did not miss such opportunity and trained his guns on the State government during ‘Jabab Maguchhi Odisha’ programme in Bolangir today.

Addressing the public rally, Pradhan stated that the Centre is committed towards all-round development of Odisha, but the State government is posing a big hindrance in such developmental activities.

While PM Modi was present in Bolangir to launch several projects on infrastructure development, connectivity and ease of doing business, CM Naveen Patnaik at the same time was inaugurating the state-level annual farmers’ convention, ‘Krushi Odisha 2019’, at Biju Patnaik Ground in Baramunda, Bhubaneswar.

Surprisingly, this is not the first instance when the State government is organising events on the same day the Prime Minister is scheduling his visits to the State to inaugurate developmental projects for the people of Odisha.

It may look as a co-incidence to many, but Pradhan alleged such motive as intentional while terming it as a cheap politics of Odisha government.

The last time Modi came to Odisha to inaugurate and lay foundation stones of several projects worth Rs 4500 crore in Baripada, the same day the BJD organised a Mission Shakti programme in Puri that somehow was seen as a strategy to counter the PM’s visit.

“This time also we had invited CM Naveen to be a part of the government programme in Bolangir, but he did not accept our invitation. We thought he has interest towards West Odisha and would come to discuss with PM Modi and then put forth his demands. But Naveen Patnaik chose to do politics by organising another event in Bhubaneswar on the same day and it is quite clear he has not prioritised the development of Western Odisha.”

Pradhan further slammed the government alleging poor irrigational facilities in Bolangir. “In the last 20 years, only 5 to 10 per cent irrigational activities have been done in Bolangir. The Lower Suktel Project started some 15 years back but still only 20 per cent has been finished. The displaced people are still awaiting rehabilitation and disbursal of compensation.”

While BJD leaders are yet to respond on Pradhan’s allegations, CM Naveen, while inaugurating the Krushi Odisha 2019 programme in Bhubaneswar, mentioned that Odisha government had aimed to carry out irrigation in over 10 lakh hectares, of which only 2 hectares are left that is likely to be covered by the end of April this year.