Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday addressed a rally in Odisha’s Khordha district, where he focused on the Centre’s contribution towards the state’s development.
“Why are farmers struggling for a few drops of water? Why is their harvest not being purchased? Who is feeding the danav (monster) of corruption? The more the answers to these questions are cleared, the clearer will be the path ahead,” the PM said.
“The demon of corruption in the form of chit fund scams and PC (percentage commission) culture has grown strong in Odisha.”
Modi refrained from naming the BJD, unlike his last speech in Odisha in September.
On Monday, Modi focused on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s contribution towards Odisha’s development in the aftermath of the 1999 Super Cyclone. He cited the BJP’s recognition of Paika Bidroh, the state’s peasant-militia revolt against the British empire in 1817, through the release of a postage stamp, a commemorative coin and the endowment of Buxi Jagabandhu research chair in Utkal University.
“It is the first time in the country’s history that a central government has focused so much on the development of eastern India, along with Odisha”, he said.
Modi first visited IIT-Bhubaneswar, where he inaugurated a new campus at Aragul. He laid the foundation stone for Indian Institute of Science and Education Research (IISER) in Berhampur, and laid foundation stones for two gas pipelines, along with two road projects and a new ward of Bhubaneswar’s ESI hospital.
The PM came close to a direct indictment of the state government for its refusal to join Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). “Had Odisha joined (PMJAY), then an Odiya suffering a heart attack in Lucknow could have received treatment without expenses,” he said.
Regarding the plight of farmers, he said, “Before the (2014) election, it was promised (by BJD) that 10 lakh hectares (in Odisha) will be brought under irrigation. But I am told that only 22,000 hectares have been actually covered.”