Puri (Odisha): Ahead of the 2019 Odisha assembly elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Monday launched a scathing attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saying that all opposition parties were suffering from “Modi-phobia”.
Inaugurating a three-day national executive meet of the BJP Mahila Morcha in Puri, Shah said, “This meeting is not just a meeting, it is the death-bed of Naveen babu’s government. There are elections in Odisha in 2019. If people in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh work hard, Modi Ji will be the Prime Minister once more. But if mothers and sisters of Odisha work hard, BJP will not only have a Prime Minister at the Centre but a Chief Minister in the state too.” He further said, “The way the Odisha government is functioning, they don’t have the right to govern. People in the state, which has ample mineral resources to enrich the entire country, are living in destitute condition. If anyone is responsible for this, it is Naveen babu’s government,” Shah added.
Shah berated the Opposition by stating that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting “Make in India”, they were engrossed in “Break in India.” He said, “Including the BJD (Biju Janata Dal), all the opposition parties are trying to break India while Modi Ji is trying to ‘make India’. Modi Ji says remove poverty, they say remove Modi. Modi Ji says remove insecurity, they say remove Modi. They are suffering from Modi-phobia,” Shah said.
The BJP chief accused the Odisha government of not buying crops from the farmers in the state despite the Centre raising the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the crops. “The MSP for rice has been raised by Rs 200, the central government will give the Odisha government hundreds of crore rupees. But, they (BJD government) are in cahoots with the rice mill owners, and they don’t buy the farmers’ crops. Go and see your neighbouring state, Chhattisgarh, not a single kilogram of any farmer’s rice is left unsold, the government buys it all,” Shah said.
Shah further attacked Patnaik for not introducing the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna (PMJAY) – Ayushman Bharat in Odisha. “Ten crore families across the country will be given a cover of Rs 5 lakh each per year except those living in Odisha. Naveen babu fears that if he introduces Ayushman Bharat, Modi Ji will become popular and his government will be uprooted. He doesn’t care for the people of Odisha, he cares for his position,” Shah said. He also targeted the BJD government over the rampant cases of violence against women in the state, saying, “In offenses against women, Odisha is at the top spot in the country. Odisha is number one in harassment cases, number four in dowry-related offenses, number five in gang rape cases and number six in acid attack cases. Naveen babu, your state is top-ranked for offenses against women, instead of development. Do you even have any concern in this regard?” Shah’s Odisha visit comes days after Prime Minister Modi’s visit, wherein he laid the foundation stone of Talcher Fertiliser Plant and inaugurated Jharsuguda Airport. In his previous visit to the state, Shah expressed confidence that his party will ‘sweep’ the state assembly polls. Elections for Odisha’s 147-seat assembly will be held around the same time as the 2019 general elections.