Bhubaneswar: BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik on Sunday dwelt on his pet theme of central neglect and special category status for Odisha to woo the voters to cast their franchise in favour of the regional party for further development in the State.
Patnaik who sounded the poll bugle and addressed an election rally at Nayagarh today accused the government in Delhi of derailing Odisha’s development by neglecting the eastern over the years.
Patnaik, who took a dig at BJP-led government at the centre, listed out various burning issues to bring home the point.
“We have been fighting for Special Category Status (SCS) for Odisha. If Odisha gets SCS, then odisha will be immensely benefitted. As we know, more funds will flow, more employment will be generated. We have launched Make in Odisha with Rs 5 lakh crore investment proposal. 23 lakh employment will be generated in the coming years from the proposals we have got. If SCS is conferred on Odisha, employment scope will be doubled. But the BJP-led central government has done nothing with regard to SCS, he said.
In 2014, BJP in its manifesto had accorded top priority to SCS, but it forgot to implement when BJP-led govt was formed in the centre. Injustice has been done to the people of Odisha. In national level, Odisha has the poorest of railway network, however railway is getting the maximum profit from Odisha. While railways are reaping Rs 20,000 crore profit from Odisha, the State on the other hand is being doled out a meagre Rs 1,000 crore for railway infrastructure projects. Other states are getting more funds for railway infrastructure projects. Does this not amount to central neglect?
The centre is getting thousands of crores of rupees from Coal rolyalty. But Odisha is getting pollution and dust. Mahanadi water was diverted by BJP-led govt in Chattishgarh. The centre cooperated with the then Chattishgarh government. The centre also ignored Odisha’s interest and did not intervene in Pollavaram river barrage construction. It rather extended help to the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh government, he said.
“Odisha languishes at the bottom in Telecom, banking, national highway projects funded by the central government. BJP leaders in Odisha know these facts well. But they are scared of their party high command. They can not fight for the legitimate rights of the Odisha. They are being controlled by Delhi high command. BJD is the party of Odisha people, people of the state are its high command. The remote control lies with 4.5 crore of Odia people”, he said addressing the gathering.