Corruption has become identity of Odisha government: Modi

Corruption has become identity of Odisha government: Modi
Jharsuguda: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Odisha's Jharsuguda on Sept 22, 2018. (Photo: IANS/BJP)

Jharsuguda (Odisha), Sep 22 (IANS) With Lok Sabha and assembly elections not far away in Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government saying so many scams have surfaced in the state where corruption and delay in decisions have become its identity and was hampering development.

He also criticised the Naveen Patnaik government for opting out of the Centre’s ambitious health insurance scheme that is to be rolled out on Sunday.

Addressing a BJP rally after inaugurating the Jharsuguda Airport, he said the Central government had more than doubled the fund allocation to Odisha but its effects were not visible on the ground.

“Before the BJP government came to power in the Centre, Odisha government got around Rs 82,000 crore in five years. In our government, we increased it to Rs two lakh crore. But can you see the impact of this money on the ground? Where is this money going?”

“In recent times, so many scams have surfaced in Odisha… How will development happen in such a situation? So time has come for a big change in Odisha,” he told the gathering.

Attacking the Naveen Patnaik government, he said it was depriving the people of Odisha of the Rs 5 lakh health insurance the Central government was giving under its flagship Ayushman Bharat Scheme. He said the state was lagging behind on all social parameters.

“I am not saying that there are no problems in other states, but what matters is the government’s response to it. Odisha has still not become a part of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme which is being launched tomorrow and will cover medical treatment costs of poor up to Rs 5 lakh,” Modi said.

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He said the Odisha government was not keen to give this benefit to its people and was saying they will “think about it”.

Attacking the Congress, Modi said the Jharsuguda-Barapali-Sardega rail link which he inaugurated earlier in the day was stuck under the UPA government.

“The work started in 2006 but less than 30 per cent work was completed till the COngress government was in power (at the Centre). After our government came, 70 per cent of the work has been completed in just four years,” he said.

He added that the length of the national highways was also doubled in Odisha over the last four years and the road connectivity to villages was also expedited.

The Prime Minister said the Odisha government was not very happy with this work and was not taking any interest in the development of the state.