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Sonia Gandhi refutes Naveen Patnaik's allegation of central negligence

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 4:32pm IST | Agency: PTI

Refuting Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's allegations of Centre's negligence towards the state, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today accused BJD government of rampant corruption and inefficiency, besides inability to contain rising crimes against women.

"UPA government has given thousands of crores of rupees for the development of Odisha. If one compares the amount of central funding to Odisha during the previous NDA regime in which the BJD was a part and the present UPA rule, there will be no confusion," she told her first poll rally here in poverty stricken Nuapada district.

Funds released for Odisha during UPA rule was much higher than during the NDA regime, she said adding "Comparison shows there was zameen-asman farak (hell and heaven difference)."

The Congress president's remark followed repeated allegations of central negligence by Patnaik in almost all election meetings of BJD he has been addressing in the state.

Referring to Patnaik's remark that Congress was an 'ocean of corruption', Gandhi read out a list of scandals in the state. "There have been corruption in the implementation of MGNREGA, mid-day meal, mining scam and chit fund scam." "The Supreme Court of India monitored the irregularity in job scheme while you (people) know better how these people (BJD Govt) managed the mid-day meal scheme," Gandhi said and also mentioned the CAG report on the foodgrain quota for BPL families.

The UPA government has provided thousands of crores of rupees to Odisha through various schemes but the BJD government had failed to properly utilise the central funds, she alleged.

Odisha government did not take proper action when lakhs of depositors were duped by ponzi scheme companies,she alleged adding it was sad that people were denied of their benefits due to the state government's attitude.

Slamming the BJD government on the mining scam, Gandhi said though minerals worth lakhs of crores of rupees were looted the state government failed to check them.

"While on one side there is rampant corruption, on the other side the state government failed to properly implement the Indira Gandhi Pension Schemes for poor people. Similar was the case in implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutkaran Yojana," she pointed out.

The Congress was concerned over hunger and malnutrition among children in Kalahandi, she said adding UPA had framed Food Security Act in order to give the people rights on ration.

Gandhi also expressed concern over rising crimes against women and girls in Odisha and blamed the state government for not implementing scholarship scheme for girls properly.

She recalled her husband Rajiv Gandhi and mother-in-law Indira Gandhi's concern about the development of undivided Kalahandi district and asked the people to vote for Congress for overall development.

"You (people of Kalahandi) have been struggling and Congress has all along been with you in the fight. Rahulji had also joined the struggle to save Niyamgiri Hills from being handed over for mining," Gandhi added.


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