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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

‘Like a postman’: PM Modi counters Naveen Patnaik on credit for schemes

PM Modi was addressing an election rally in Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituency of Odisha, where he targeted the BJD of CM Naveen Patnaik and the Congress.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 16, 2019 12:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Sambalpur, Odisha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally at Sambalpur in Odisha on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally at Sambalpur in Odisha on Tuesday.(Twitter/@ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday stepped up attack against the Congress and the Biju Janata Dal, which is in power in Odisha for four consecutive terms, saying that these parties are not concerned about fighting corruption. Without mentioning the name of Naveen Patnaik, the Odisha chief minister, PM Modi accused him of creating obstacles in providing benefits to the farmers in the state.

“You have trusted them (the BJD) blindly for 20 years. Now the land of Odisha has made up its mind for a change,” said PM Modi, who was addressing an election rally in Sambalpur district of the state.

The prime minister said that the BJD government of Odisha wrongly claims to be providing one kg of rice for Re 1. He said, “The government of chowkidar in Delhi purchases a kg of rice for Rs 29 or Rs 30 and sends it for the poor of the state. The state government puts Re 1 or Rs 2 in the purchase but claims that it provides cheaper rice to the poor. This is not true.”

“If your son sends you money order from Delhi and the postman delivers it to you, will it be postman’s money,” asked PM Modi at the rally adding, “I am not saying the state government is not working hard enough to ensure supply of rice but they must also tell the people who sends the rice from Delhi.”

PM Modi hit out at the Congress saying that the previous governments at the Centre led by the party failed to check corruption. “Earlier, only 15 or 16 paise of a rupee reached the poor, the rest went to the pockets of the middlemen. The government of the chowkidar ensured people get entire amount,” he said.

There were people who used to keep an eye like vultures on the money sent from the Centre. The moment money arrived they started picking up their shares. I came with the resolve to fight them,” said the prime minister adding, “The Congress and ‘Mahamilawati” group are desperate to oust chowkidar because of the onslaught on corruption.”

Odisha is voting for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in four phases. There are 21 Lok Sabha and 147 assembly seats in Odisha. The first phase was held on April 11 while the polling for the next three phases is scheduled for April 18, 23 and 29 in the state.

Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituency, where PM Modi addressed his election rally, will go to the polls in the third phase on April 23. The BJP has never won this seat. In the last five Lok Sabha elections, the BJD has won this seat four times. The Congress won the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat in 2009.