Cuttack: Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi treating Naveen Patnaik with kid gloves in recent rallies, BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday lashed out at the Odisha Chief Minister for refusing to implement centrally-sponsored schemes like Ayushmaan Bharat. He also accused him of having faltered in protecting the Ratna Bhandar of Jagannath Temple.
Addressing a public rally at Salepur, the BJP president exhorted the voters to overthrow “19-year-old rule of the BJD government in 2019” as he tore into Naveen’s administration, saying both the BJD and Congress are the “two sides of the same coin”.
He talked of a “new Odisha” under the BJP regime, which would ensure employment for all and eliminate poverty from the state.
“Let’s make a pledge to install a chief minister who can speak Odia”, Shah said. “And I am confident that with the blessings of the people of Odisha, Narendra Modi will once again form the government at the Centre,” he said at the rally attended by senior party leaders from Odisha, including Union Ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan.
Shah took potshots at the CM saying that he is afraid of Narendra Modi’s popularity and, hence, have refused to implement the Ayushmaan Bharat in Odisha, which would have benefitted the state.
The state government has also failed to protect the Ratna Bhandar of Jagannath Temple, he said, referring to the missing keys controversy last year.
“You have seen 19 years of BJD rule. Give us five years and we will make Odisha number one state in the country,” he said.
Shah’s Salepur rally, where he trained guns at Naveen, came in sharp contrast to the Modi’s previous three rallies where he went soft on the Odisha CM.
Shah said that while the 14th Finance Commission had earmarked Rs 2.11 lakh crore for Odisha, the state government failed to effectively utilise the funds. Under the Modi regime, over Rs 5 lakh crore was earmarked for Odisha but the benefits did not reach to the poor in the villages, he added.
Earlier in the day, the BJP president visited Satyabhamapur in Cuttack and garlanded the statue of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das.