Naveen veered State off development course: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar, Dec 26: Even as BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik threw nine questions at Prime Minister Narendra Modi Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan retaliated with a slew of allegations, including the alleged apathy of the BJD government towards development of the State.

Pradhan accused Odisha Government of deep in corruption and veered the State off development course in the last 18 years.

Addressing a meeting as part of BJP’s ‘Jabab Maguchi Odisha’ programme here, Pradhan alleged that the Chief Minister of the State was feeding the ‘demon’ of corruption.

He brought up the name of Saroj Sahu, a former personal aide of the Chief Minister who was earlier interrogated by CBI for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore chit fund scam.

The Union Minister demanded the Chief Minister need to clarify this to the people.

He also criticized the initiative of Patnaik for securing 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliamment and state Assemblies.

“Naveen Patnaik, who is vouching for 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament must first clarify how many women ministers are there in his own cabinet. At a time when Kunduli gang rape victim had to commit suicide and women and children of Gumudumaha are still crying, the CM should stop shedding crocodile tears,” he said.

He also claimed that in the last 70-75 days, crude prices have fallen by around Rs 20 but the State government earlier didn’t slash VAT on fuel to ease the pain of 4.5 crore people of Odisha.

“The BJD president should give details of the land acquired for the Khurda-Bolangir railway line. No land has been acquired in Sonepur and Boudh districts; and the situation is same in case of Haridaspur-Paradeep railway line project,” he said in a bid to answer a question of the Chief Minister.

Pradhan said while responding to Naveen’s allegations of Central assistance that Odisha never got Rs 1000 crore in railway budget.

“But now it is getting around Rs 5000 crore.” said Pradhan.

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