New Delhi, , Feb. 24 : Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a mark in Odisha because of its popular schemes.
"The BJP in Odisha had existed as a distant third party. However, after November 8, the schemes that were implemented in the last two and a half years have received acceleration which has reflected in the poll results," said Pradhan.
He rejected Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's dubbing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as anti-poor, saying two of the poorest districts in Odisha have voted for the BJP.
"Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly called Prime Minister Narendra Modi anti-poor, but this time in Kalahandi where the Congress had won in 2009 and had ruled till 2014, in that district, the Congress faced defeat, and out of the 36 seats, 34 have been won by the BJP," he said.
"In another district, Bargarh, the Congress has secured zero seats, whereas the BJP has won 26 of the 34 seats," he added.
He said the BJP's foothold in Odisha has increased ten-fold since 2012.