BJD, Congress are two sides of same coin: Amit Shah

Bhubaneswar: BJP national president Amit Shah on Tuesday said both the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress are two sides of the same coin, while exuding confidence that the saffron party will form the next government in Odisha.

“BJD and Congress are two sides of the same coin. While one will go, the other will come to power. If either comes to power, they will not lead the state towards development. Give an opportunity to Modiji for the development of the state,” said Shah at Salepur in Cuttack.

He was addressing booth-level workers from four Lok Sabha constituencies – Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack and Jajpur – which have 28 assembly segments.

The barb came days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is a junior partner of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This also boosted the morale of the BJP workers as the Prime Minister had remained silent, particularly on Naveen Patnaik, even though he had attacked the Odisha government during his last three visits to the state.

“Congress ruled for decades and Naveen babu governed the state for 19 years. They failed to carry out development in the state. Give five years to Modiji, we will make Odisha number one in the country,” said the BJP president.

Coming down heavily on the BJD government, Shah urged the people to elect a BJP government in the state, which will carry out development in Odisha.

He said the results of the panchayat polls convey a message that the BJP will form the next government in Odisha.

Indirectly attacking Naveen Patnaik for his poor understanding of the Odia language, Shah said Odisha will have an Odia-speaking Chief Minister after the Assembly polls.

“We have highly skilled youth and natural resources in Odisha. However, the state is still not progressing. Odisha has a government which does not know how to pursue development agenda,” said Shah.

He added that the Odisha government failed to protect the Ratna Bhandar of Jagannath temple, referring to the controversy last year when reports emerged that keys of the Bhandar were missing.

Stating that the benefits of the Central schemes are not reaching the people at the grass-roots level, he said the poor people of Odisha are unable to benefit from the schemes of the Central government because of the narrow mindset of the (state) government.

He said the Odisha government refused to join the Ayushman Bharat Yojana as they fear that if this scheme is implemented then Prime Minister Modi will become popular in the state.

Shah also highlighted the Central assistance being given by the NDA government to Odisha.

“Under the UPA government, the 13th Finance Commission gave only Rs 79,000 crore to Odisha while in the 14th Finance Commission, the BJP-led government gave Rs 2.11 lakh crore for the development of Odisha,” stated Shah.

A total of Rs 5.13 lakh crore has been given to Odisha under the NDA government. However, the funds did not reach the villages, he added.

The BJP president also lashed out at the Mahagathbandhan of opposition parties.

“NDA has 26 allies led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On the other hand, the Mahagathbandhan by opposition parties is devoid of leader and policy. How can they form a strong government? Only Modiji can give a strong government,” said Shah.

Referring to the Uri attack, the BJP president said, “Within 10 days, Prime Minister Modi ordered surgical strikes in Pakistan to avenge the death of our martyred soldiers. It is only the Modi government that can take such stringent action, the Congress government can’t.”