BJP today cited its win in the backward and tribal regions of Odisha in local body polls to claim the endorsement of the poor for the Modi government’s policies, including demonetisation. BJP also accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of “duping” people in the state saying he did nothing for them despite making promises when the UPA was in power and asserted it is now the main opposition party and the Congress has been decimated. Union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, both of whom are from the state, besides party general secretary Arun Singh, who is the state’s BJP in-charge, addressed a press conference in which they made a detailed presentation about its big win in the state.
Oram said Chief Minister Navin Patnaik of BJD has “cheated” people, causing popular resentment against his 18-year rule.
While BJP’s tally shot up to 306 this time from 36 in 2012, that of Congress fell from 126 to 66. The ruling BJD remained the biggest player but its tally too saw a sharp fall from 651 to 460. Elections were held in 849 seats.
Pradhan said the party’s win was particularly impressive in places like Kalahandi, Balangir, Naxal-hit Malkangiri and Mayurbhanj, seen among the poorest districts in the country, where it won 34 out of 36, 24 of 34, 10 of 15 and 49 of 56 seats, respectively.
“The poor’s faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi has increased after November 8,” Pradhan said, referring to the day the demonetisation decision was taken and the party’s win in local elections in several places, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Maharashtra, held afterwards.
Attacking Rahul, he said the Congress leader had visited Kalahandi in 2008 and promised people he would be their soldier in Delhi and in 2015 he went on a foot march in Bargarh.
“The Congress ruled the country till 2014. He (Rahul) did nothing for them. He duped them. Now the Congress has been decimated,” he said.
Pradhan said Modi visited the state three times last year in connection with launching central projects, including crop insurance scheme.
The Centre’s various welfare projects like insurance scheme and ‘Ujjwala Yojna’ has touched a chord with masses and increased central expenditure for the SC/ST communities has helped people, he said.
The results of assembly elections, including in Uttar Pradesh, will reflect continued popular support for the BJP, he said.