Odisha CM harps on ‘central neglect,’ opposition mocks

Bhubaneswar, Dec 26 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal supremo Naveen Patnaik on Saturday lamented the neglect of the state’s interests by the central government, which the opposition mocked as a tired “old tune”.

While natural calamities were affecting the state’s economy and hurting farmers, the central government had continued to neglect the state, Patnaik told members of the BJD which is celebrating its 18th Foundation Day on Saturday.

Naveen Patnaik, son of former Odisha chief minister late Biju Patnaik, has headed the party since its inception in 1997.

He said his government always believed in work and was not in the business of shedding crocodile tears like the opposition.

To help the farmers facing drought this year, his government had announced Rs.10,000 crore in loans for the Rabi crop, the chief minister said.

With Odisha’s 100th birth anniversary slated to be celebrated in 2036, Patnaik said the government would draw up a vision document in 2016 to ensure holistic development of the state over the next 20 years.

His father Biju Patnaik’s 100th birth anniversary would also be celebrated next year, he added.

The opposition, Congress and BJP, said Naveen Patnaik’s promises were hollow.

“The chief minister has dealt in sweet dreams earlier and prepared vision documents. The people know how many of them got fulfilled. He is only hoodwinking people,” said leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra.

State BJP president K.V. Singhdeo said the ruling BJD had been harping on the neglect by the central government for the last 15 years.

Since the BJD had no achievement to show on its Foundation Day, they they were playing the tired old tune of central negligence, added Singhdeo.

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