Odisha's ruling BJD has close ties with the Congress which had always neglected the state, a senior BJP leader said today, hitting back at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's allegation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "remote controls" chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Slamming the Congress, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Rahul Gandhi's family had ruled India for over four decades and his party was in power in Odisha for long, but still did nothing for the state.
"The people of Odisha already know how the Congress has neglected Odisha and are aware of the true character of the Congress party," he said.
Mr Pradhan alleged that the Biju Janata Dal has close ties with the Congress and raised questions on "links" between Naveen Patnaik, Rahul Gandhi and Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the VVIP chopper deal now under arrest in India.
The BJP leader said Christian Michel had lobbied for the Eurofighter, a fighter aircraft that competed with Rafale for India's bid to purchase fighter jets.
A BJD MP's support for the Eurofighter along with Rahul Gandhi exposes the links between the two parties, Mr Pradhan alleged.
He also claimed that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi and Naveen Patnaik share the same stand in chit fund scam and protect accused.
At a rally in Odisha, Rahul Gandhi accused the Patnaik government of being "remote controlled" by PM Modi from Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi claimed that the state was hit by the chit fund scam, in which many leaders of the ruling BJD were allegedly involved. Mr Gandhi also accused that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre was stung by the Rafale scandal.