Jagatsinghpur, Apr 14 UNI | 4 months ago

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today accused Naveen Patnaik government of looting the rich minerals and forest produce, the benefit of which are not reaching the people.

Addressing an election meeting here, Mr Gandhi said time has come to give 'rest' to BJD led Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha as the political leaders of BJD have been benefited during the last 14 years rule, ignoring the poor and downtrodden people.

The Congress Vice President praised the local people who attended the meeting with patience, despite heat wave condition prevailing in the area with mercury hovering over 40 degree Celsius.

Mr Gandhi has repeated his queries to Odisha government as to why the people of Odisha are still poor, having rich natural resources at its disposal.

The Raghuram Rajan committee has placed Odisha at the bottom of the list of developed states in the country, he remarked.

Describing the state as a classic case of poverty existing amidst plenty of natural resources, he said Odisha had remained poor because the money collected from coal, bauxite and iron ore had not benefited the people.

The Congress-led UPA government, he said, had provided huge money for undertaking the developmental work in the state but the Naveen Patnaik government had miserably failed to utilise it properly

He came down heavily on the state government for raking the Central negligence and lack of Central funds to divert the attention of the people about its own failure in many fronts.

The people of Odisha, he said, now want 'change' by replacing this government and appealed to the people to reject the BJD government involved in a series of scams and corruptions.

The Congress Vice President said the party will launch guarantee health by supplying free medicines and provide free pucca houses to all poverty-stricken people.

Highlighting the UPA government's achievement, Mr Gandhi said the government has taken 15 crore people out of poverty.

"There are around 17 crore people who are just above the poverty line and we are going to make these people middle class," he claimed.

(Posted on 15-04-2014)