Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bid Goodbye to BJD: Modi to Odiya Voters

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), April 5, 2014
Launching a scathing attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday described the government headed by the BJD chief as ‘nikammi’ (useless) and asked the people to throw it out of power in this election.
“This government has taken you for granted. It thinks it has the people of Odisha in its pocket. It believes you will continue to vote for it whether it does anything for you or not. I am surprised how you have been tolerating such a government for 14 years,” Modi said.
Modi addressed three election rallies at Nuapada, Bolangir and Rourkela -- all going to polls on April 10.
“When people talk of poverty, they cite the example of Balangir. Kalahandi symbolises hunger. The situation remains unchanged even after 60 years of Congress rule and 14 years of Naveen Patnaik rule,” he said, while narrating the sorry state of affairs in the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi region.
Stating that the days of Naveen Government were numbered, Modi said Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi could not save the UPA Government at the Centre, which is also crumbling.
Promising good governance and growth at the Centre if voted to power, Modi said women were not safe under the Congress rule. He said in the 2009 polls, it had promised jobs to 10 crore youth and asked if anybody in the crowd were part of that 10 crore.
Meanwhile, the Congress promised sops to all sections of people and announced that it would review all MoUs signed by the state government in the last 10 years if voted to power.
The Congress would provide good governance and get mining, water, land and chit fund scams probed by the CBI, said the party’s state manifesto released by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena here.
While all registered unemployed youth would be given allowance during the next five years,
landless would get land, the manifesto said and promised an end to starvation deaths.
Effective steps would be taken to protect the mineral resources and for their proper utilisation, Jena said and added that steps would be taken to conduct all mining operations in the state through the Odisha Mining Corporation and similar other government agencies. No individual and private agencies would be given mining lease.
Announcing implementation of recommendations of the Justice M B Shah Commission on mining scams, the Congress manifesto promised recovery of `60,000 crore from those who looted the mineral wealth by auctioning their property.
The manifesto said all revenue villages would be converted into panchayats and a pension scheme introduced to cover all marginal and differently-abled farmers and landless farm labourers.
To woo farmers, the party promised loan at one per cent interest and interest-free loans up to `25,000, besides free electricity.
All urban slum dwellers would be provided with pucca houses, the manifesto said. A minority commission would be set up for the welfare of the minority communities.

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