Amid a noisy walkout by BJP members from Odisha Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday came down heavily on the opposition party accusing them of politicising sensitive crime and development issues that affect the image of the state and its people.
Patnaik made these remarks while responding to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the governor’s address in the assembly, considered as the last session of his fifth term in office as chief minister.
“I have been a member for the last 24 years in this House, I have never seen this kind of politicisation of sensitive issues. People won’t forgive those who defame their own state for narrow political interests. People won’t forgive those who tried to stop Shree Mandir and Lingaraj projects. People won’t forgive those who block development of the state,” Odisha’s five time chief minister said.
Earlier, the House proceedings were stalled due to a din by the BJP members who raised the issue relating to break of tradition in Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri by offering ‘Bhog’ prepared from parboiled rice.
The BJP members led by opposition chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi walked out of the House by shouting “Jai Jagannath and Jay Sriram” slogans while Patnaik was making his statement in the House.
The BJP members later went to Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum drawing the governor’s attention to violation of tradition in the 12th century shrine.
Patnaik, however, targeted the BJP for politicising the rape and murder of a little girl in Nayagarh. A local court on Tuesday had convicted a juvenile with 20 years rigorous imprisonment while BJP supporters alleged that some BJD leaders were involved in the crime.
While listing out the successess during his fifth term in the office, Patnaik said, “When all these achievements were happening, I am sorry to say the opposition was busy politicising every crime and trying to defame the state and its people. Yesterday, a court in Nayagarh delivered the judgment in the tragic minor girl case. I would like to remind the members of the opposition about the kind of obstruction they did in this House and tried to politicise this sensitive case”.
Patnaik also cautioned the opposition, particularly the BJP, that people of Odisha knew very well all those who are trying to get bail for the accused and all those who tried to derail the judicial process in the minor girl rape case.
Now that the accused is convicted, where will the opposition, especially the state BJP who tried to politicise this issue at the cost of stalling justice to the little girl, go? Patnaik asked.
“We should always work together for a larger cause, for a ‘New and Empowered Odisha’,” the chief minister said.
Patnaik also expressed satisfaction over the NITI Aayog report which said more than one crore people have been lifted out of poverty.
“We have achieved tremendous achievements and people of Odisha appreciate this growth trajectory. They (people) blessed us in the recent panchayat elections and BJD won all 30 district zilla parishads,” Patnaik announced in the House.
This apart, Patnaik also highlighted how Odisha is the number one revenue surplus state in the country.
“We have got second highest manufacturing investment in the country and in IT, we have got all major MNCs to the state while doing all this, we have also increased the area under irrigation hugely,” the CM said.
Referring to empowerment of tribal people in Odisha, Patnaik said the state government has come up with a great initiative to procure hundred per cent minor forest produce and ensuring the minimum support price through a path breaking scheme called LABHA.
In addition to that through the special development councils, my government is taking steps to preserve, promote and conserve tribal language, literature, folk art and all that is unique to them, Patnaik said.
Noting that he has always “walked the talk” on women empowerment, Patnaik said about Rs 15,000 crore will be disbursed amongst the Mission Shakti groups with zero per cent interest.
This is a record high of all time and this shows the financial empowerment of women in Odisha. The crimes against women has come down by twenty per cent and our conviction rate has almost doubled, Patnaik said.
Referring to COVID-19 pandemic, Patnaik said Odisha played a major positive role in saving lives of people across the country by supplying oxygen to 17 states.
He also highlighted how Odisha conducted Hockey World Cup in Sundergarh for the first time.
He said Odisha’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana has been a big game changer where more than one-and-a-half lakh patients are getting covered every month and the state is spending almost Rs 250 crore every month.
“Imagine the kind of burden otherwise it would have been on the people of Odisha on a monthly basis. This has been one of the biggest interventions of this government and I am proud to say this is one of the best schemes in the country providing almost universal health coverage to a state’s population,” the chief minister said.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)