BJP president Amit Shah Tuesday alleged that the Congress and the BJD had failed to ensure Odisha's development and dubbed them two sides of the same coin.
Mr Shah's remarks came after Congress president Rahul Gandhi during a rally in Bhubaneswar last week accused Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of being remote-controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in regard to a chit fund scam.
Promising a ''new Odisha'' if the BJP is voted to power, he said: "You have given 19 years to the BJD and several years to the Congress. Just give five years to Narendra Modi who will make Odisha the number one state in the country."
The BJP chief's visit follows three back-to-back tours of Prime Minister Modi to Odisha since December and is significant as the state assembly elections are likely to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing a BJP workers rally, Mr Shah called upon the state's people to dislodge the 19-year-old Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in 2019 and alleged that it has failed to bring development in the state despite the flow of huge funds from the Centre.
"The Congress and the BJD are like two sides of the same coin. Both the parties are responsible for the poverty and backwardness in the state," he said.
Under the Congress-led UPA government, Odisha got Rs 79,000 crore after the 13th finance commission, while it received around Rs 2.11 lakh crore as per the 14th finance commission''s recommendations.
The total volume of funds received by Odisha during the BJP-led government for development was to the tune of Rs 5,13,000 crore, Mr Shah claimed.
Elaborating PM Modi's vision of "new Odisha", the BJP chief said under the vision no one should be left unemployed, all should get better medical facilities and no one remains below the poverty line.
Launching a scathing attack on Chief Minister Patnaik, Mr Shah alleged that the BJD government did not join the the Centre's Ayushman Bharat programme only due to "fear of Modi''s popularity."
The Odisha government refused to join the Ayushman Bharat scheme fearing that it might amplify the popularity of PM Modi in the state, he said, adding that the poor people are deprived of benefits of schemes of the Centre because of the narrow mindset of the Odisha government.
Mr Shah said people of Odisha are hard working and contribute towards development of others states.
The BJP chief also criticised the state govenrment for not spending funds for the development of tribal areas under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for which it received more than Rs 4,000 crore.
Central welfare schemes do not reach the villages due to inefficiency of the state government, he alleged.
Mr Shah also came down heavily on the BJD government over the state's alleged failure to protect the "Ratna Bhandar" (Treasury) of the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri. "While the government has failed to secure the properties of the Lord, how can it improve the life of people," he said.
While wooing the Odia "swabhiman" (pride), Shah said the people should elect an Odia speaking chief minister in the next elections.
He was referring to past attacks by opposition parties in the state over Patnaik apparently lacking fluency in the Odia language.
The BJP president also recalled the contribution of the Utkala Gauraba Madhusudan Das towards Odia language. Before proceeding to the BJP workers'' meeting venue, Shah visited Satyabhamapur in Cuttack district, the birthplace of Madhusudan Das, and paid floral tributes at the statue of Madhu Babu.
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