The Opposition BJP and the Congress today said the dalits, tribals, farmers and the poor in the state have suffered in the hands of the Naveen Patnaik government, an allegation that was denied by the ruling BJD. The leaders of both the opposition parties hurled a volley of questions and sought explanations over various administrative matters from the BJD, which is set to celebrate its 20th foundation day tomorrow. “Although the state government formed a corpus fund for chit-fund victims, none of them has received any money. When will they get back their money?” BJP state unit general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said at a press meet here. Many ponzi scheme companies flourished under the patronage of the ruling party in the state, he alleged. Harichandan also sought to know the time frame by which the ruling party would dole out compensation to the family members of farmers, who have committed suicide due to crop loss and debt burden.
He also asked for an explanation from the government for the delay in implementation of agriculture commission’s recommendations and demanded action against leaders and officials responsible for distribution of fake seeds and pesticides among farmers. Stating that the health sector in the state was in a shambles, Harichandan said a large number of posts of doctors and other staff is lying vacant in government hospitals. Despite being endowed with vast coal reserves, many parts of Odisha are still languishing in darkness, the BJP leader said, adding that a whopping 36 lakh houses in the state are devoid of electricity supply due to inefficiency on the part of the Naveen Patnaik government.
Slamming the BJD regime on similar lines, senior Congress leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena said unemployment has assumed alarming proportions in the state. The chief minister should tell people the number of jobs his government has created since the BJD came to power in 2000, Jena said. Claiming that over 40 lakh unemployed youths are on the verge of migrating to other states in search of jobs, Jena said the Odisha government has failed to ensure social and economic justice in the state.
The Congress leader also held the BJD regime responsible for the plight of farmers, many of whom were forced to end their lives due to crop loss. The state government has failed to speed up industrialisation, he claimed adding due to its misrule the economy of the state was in doldrums. BJD spokesperson Prashant Nanda, however, refuted the charges levelled by the BJP and the Congress and said the opposition parties are wary of the rising popularity of the ruling party. The BJD, which is going to celebrate its 20th foundation day tomorrow, is all set to storm into power for the 5th time in a row in 2019, he added.