The people of Odisha, having blindly backed a government that had failed to deliver on various fronts, have now made their mind up for change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
“If the trend stemming from the first phase of voting in Odisha is any indication, the picture is clear. There will be a second term of the Modi government in Delhi and a BJP government in the State,” he said at a public meeting at Sambalpur, 300 km from Bhubaneswar.
“People are giving such massive support to us because the country wants a strong and honest government. We amended the years-old mining law and ensured that a part of the fund from the resources extracted is utilised for the development of the locality. Thus, the District Mineral Fund was formed and Odisha received ₹6,000 crore,” he said.
The fund was supposed to be spent on construction of hospitals, provision of drinking water for tribal people and building of schools. “You will be surprised to know that the BJD government could spend only ₹1,000 crore out of ₹6,000 crore and the rest is lying underutilised. People here are worried over meeting petty needs. When the intent of the government is such, the government is required to be changed and ousted. People have blindly reposed their faith on this government for 20 years. Now, Odisha has made its mind up for change,” he said.
Mr. Modi accused the Naveen Patnaik government of uttering lies on the cheap rice distribution scheme. “The Central government procures rice at ₹30 a kg and sends it to Odisha. The Odisha government contributes only ₹2 a kg and it claims that it provides rice at cheaper price. It is a lie and betrayal.”
Similarly, the Central government hiked the minimum support price of paddy by 1.5 times, but the State government failed to make necessary arrangements for purchasing the paddy and left farmers at the mercy of middlemen, he stated.
The Prime Minister promised to set up a ‘jal shakti mantralaya’ for conservation of river water if the BJP returned to power.