Acussing the BJP of doing divisive politics, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Friday appealed to the people here to vote for her party saying only it can protect the 'unity and integrity' of the country.
"What is the path of our principal opponent, the BJP? Its path is to divide the society and people on the basis of communities. It promotes violence," said Gandhi while addressing an election rally in Balasore district, about 200 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.
"Such ideology will harm the country. It will harm you and all of us. Now we have an opportunity to elect a new government which is committed to people of all castes, religions and communities. Such governance can only be given by the Congress," she said.
Hitting out at Odisha's ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for neglecting the poor, common man and farmers, Gandhi said the central government provided thousands of crores of rupees in assistance to the state government under different programmes but they were not implemented properly.
"Nearly 4,000 farmers were forced to commit suicide because of the anti-farmer policy of the BJD government. Under the central government scheme, farmers were supposed to be given bonus but the state government did not implement it," Gandhi said.
"The opposition parties like the BJD and the BJP have only one agenda. That is to oppose the Congress party. Their only aim is to grab power by any means," the Congress president said.
Gandhi said it was during the tenure of the Congress governments that the foundation of development was laid in Odisha.
"The Paradip port, Odisha university, Rourkela steel plant, Hirakud Dam and National Aluminium Company Ltd. are some of the historical examples," she said.
Charging the state government with being neck deep in scams, Gandhi said the central government provided thousands of crores under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act but the money was not used properly and was looted.