Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday claimed that the BJD will win all the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state and play a major role in government formation at the Centre in the coming elections.
"No national party will be able to win majority in Lok Sabha election this time. BJD will have decisive role to play in formation of the next government at the Centre," he said while formally kick starting his party's poll campaign at a rally in Nayagarh.
Mr Patnaik said this will give an opportunity for putting an end to the "historical injustice" meted out to the state.
Assembly election is also scheduled to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in four phases in Odisha next month.
In 2014, BJD had won 20 out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 117 of the 147 assembly segments.
Mounting a blistering attack on the BJP-led Government at the Centre, the Biju Janata Dal president said BJP had promised to accord special category status for Odisha in its manifesto before the 2014 elections, but "refused to fulfil" it after coming to power.
Mr Patnaik asserted that the fight for securing special category state status for Odisha will continue. "If Odisha is granted special category status, the state will be benefited immensely. Our youth will get employment and more funds would flow into state for ensuring speedy development," he said.
Lamenting that Odisha has poor railway network, the chief minister said though the railways is earning highest profit to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore from Odisha, no concrete step was taken for strengthening rail network in the state.
While Odisha is getting a meagre amount in railway sector, huge funds are being spent in other states. "Isn't it Central negligence," Mr Patnaik asked.
Hitting out at Narendra Modi government, the BJD supremo said the Centre is collecting thousands crores of rupees as revenue from coal sector in Odisha, while the state is getting pollution and dust.
He also stated that BJP leaders cannot fight for the rights of Odisha as they are controlled by their high command sitting in New Delhi.
But the BJD is the party of Odisha and people of the state are our high command.
Noting that 33 per cent of Lok Sabha seats in Odisha are reserved by BJD for women in the coming election, he said the state government has taken a number of measures for empowering women.
He also said he closely monitoring implementation of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme which has benefited 35 lakh farmers families in the state.
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