Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today asked the BJD and Congress to apologise to the people of Odisha for failing to usher in development rather than criticising the Prime Minister’s remark on the state.
He said it was natural for the ruling party to react as the Prime Minister had pointed out that Odisha was known for many years for poverty, illiteracy and unemployment and now its people have started fighting for their rights.
BJD, he said, should realise that it has failed to improve the condition of the people during its 17 years of rule and that the Rajan Committee report of 2013, when BJP was not in power at the Centre, had placed Odisha as the least developed and most backward state.
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Slamming the opposition Congress, the BJP leader said the party had itself raised issues like death of malnourished infants at Nagada in Jajpur district, the Dana Majhi episode and death of many children due to Japanese encephalitis in Malkangiri in the run up to the recent panchayat polls.
“Are these issues raised by Congress not indicators of acute poverty and malnutrition?” he asked.
The Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister claimed that BJP’s showing in the recent panchayat poll in the state was a signal of a major change in the 2019 Assembly polls.
The poll result, he said, has left the ruling BJD in the state worried as people are set to dethrone it because of inefficiency and corruption.
“Panchayat poll results have given a clear signal that the people, particularly youth and women, are in a mood to bring about a major political change in the next Assembly polls,” he told reporters.
The panchayat election outcome is “the beginning of a bigger change”, Pradhan said, adding people have voted for BJP in a big way as they are fed up with the “inert, inefficient and corrupt” BJD government in the state.
Despite many hurdles and a reign of terror unleashed by BJD, people have backed BJP in a big way as they are impressed by the welfare programmes of the Narendra Modi government and fed up with the Naveen Patnaik regime, he said.
Lashing out at the Chief Minister for growing unemployment in the state, Pradhan asked Patnaik to prove that none from his assembly segment of Hinjili moved out of the state in search of jobs.
Pradhan said the dismal show of BJD in Badamba-Narsinghpur area, which is represented by School and Mass Education Minister Debiprasad Mishra, showed the pathetic state of education in Odisha.
BJD leaders would have to spend sleepless nights if an assembly segment-wise analysis of panchayat results is done as it would expose them, he added.