Addressing a rally in Odisha’s mineral-rich belt of Keonjhar district, Shah cited the M B Shah Commission of Enquiry on illegal iron and manganese ore mining in Odisha: “M B Shah Commission found corruption in mining from 2005 to 2014 in allocation of mines. Naveen Babu does not crack down on bureaucrats looting mineral wealth. Odisha’s soil has enough wealth to feed the nation. To stop corruption, vote for BJP.”
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Shah also said that the Centre concentrated on developing Keonjhar from the mineral wealth generated in the area. “Through District Mineral Fund (DMF), this district has received Rs 1,600 crore. The hospital you see, where my Adivasi sisters, mothers, brothers will be treated, is made using DMF funds sent by Narendra Modiji. Naveen Patnaik did not pay anything for the hospital,” he said, referring to a nearby hospital.
On the chit fund scam in the state, he added, “I want to ask Naveen Patnaikji, what steps did you take against chit fund scamsters? A BJP government will throw all such scamsters in jail. We have to elect Modi and reject Patnaik. He ruled Odisha for 19 years, but can he speak to you in Odia? You need a CM who talks to you in your language.”
Shah said the Modi government took care of Odisha’s infrastructure and culture. He cited central projects executed in the state and the release of a postage stamp commemorating Paika Bidroh, the state’s peasant-militia revolt against the British empire in 1817.
“Does piped water come to every house? Does every school have a teacher? Does every hospital have a doctor? Do the youth have jobs? In Gujarat, thousands of Odias come for jobs. I am happy to see that, but they have a right to work near their wives and aged parents,” he added.
Shah paid homage to Prasanna Sahoo and Manoj Behera, who died in the Pulwama attack, and hit out at the Congress for allegedly being soft on terrorism. “In 10 years of the Sonia-Manmohan government, all sorts of terrorists used to enter the country. But no one said a thing. But after Pulwama, Modiji ordered the Air Force to destroy terrorist hideouts. Every part of the country celebrated. Two places mourned — Pakistan and Rahul Baba and Company,” he said.
Shah also questioned Rahul for not condemning NC leader Omar Abdullah for his remarks regarding a separate Prime Minister in Kashmir.