Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally in Jharsuguda, hardened his tone against the ruling BJD government accusing it of corruption and “pc” or percentage culture. The PM, in an earlier address in Talcher, had criticized the state government’s policies.
After Talcher, Modi addressed another rally after inaugurating the state’s second airport in Jharsuguda. He said, “It has been my dream that all those wear hawai chappals get a chance to fly in hawai jahaz (airplanes)”. He said the Centre is working on three new airports in the state, in Koraput, Sundergarh and Kalahandi.
Attacking the BJD government, Modi said, “Without bribes and corruption, it is not possible to get work done (in Odisha).” He added, “I was told, it is called ‘pc’ or percentage culture”. He alleged a number of scams in the state, in road construction, irrigation, purchase of polythene and saplings were taking place. “It is time for a change (in government) in Odisha”, Modi said.
Listing the Centre’s achievements in building infrastructure, Modi accused the Odisha government of lethargy. “I wish the state government exhibited the same eagerness as the Centre to work for development. But I have to keep waking them up from Delhi”.
The Prime Minister focused on corruption, which he said has infected both the state government and the BJD. “Before 2014, Odisha used to receive about Rs 82,000 crores from the Centre every year. Now, they receive around Rs 2 lakh crore. Where is the money going? Do you feel the difference on the ground?” he asked the crowd.
Modi referred to malnutrition, child mortality, maternal mortality and sex ration in the state during his speech. “I am not saying other states don’t have these problems”, he said. “But what is the attitude of the state government?”
Modi also said that the state government’s health scheme, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, has “limitations”. He requested the Odisha government to join Ayushmaan Bharat.
Modi slammed the state government’s attitude towards farmers. “The government is playing a game of buying produce from farmers. It is deliberately rejecting farmers’ produce and calling it defective”. He said the Centre had increased the MSP on paddy and ensured profit for farmers in corn and pulses.