Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to make Odisha the laboratory of welfare schemes for the poor. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, "While Prime Minister Modi's acceptability has increased in Odisha, the people are annoyed over the ruling BJD. People have changed their mind as they voted in favour of BJP in large number in the panchayat polls than the previous general elections in 2014."
Stating that the BJP is holding its national executive meeting in Bhubaneshwar after a gap of 20 years, Pradhan said the central government led by Modi is committed to fulfil the aspirations of the people. He said BJP president Amit Shah has been strengthening the party. The BJP-led NDA government has already allocated Rs 5,200 crore for railway development in Odisha during the last three years, while the amount was dismal during the Congress-led UPA government. During the UPA's tenure, maximum allocation was Rs 1,000 crore in one rail budget, Pradhan said.
"The allocations made to Odisha in railway development indicated Prime Minister Modi's responsibility towards the state," Pradhan said adding, Odisha has been the biggest beneficiary from the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. He said the Centre has allocated Rs 3,000 crore for rural development in Odisha. "While 1,600 km National Highways were constructed in Odisha during Atal Behari Vajpeye's tenure, Modi has planned to build 4,800 km of NH in the state," Pradhan pointed out.
He said Modi has planned construction of 450 km coastal highway from Gopalpur in Odisha to Digha in West Bengal, which will help boost Odisha's industries and tourism sector. He also said the number of LPG consumers in the state has already increased to 43 lakh this year from 23 lakh in 2014.
Claiming that Modi's popularity has increased manifold across the country and abroad, the Union Minister said the people of Odisha have accepted the Prime Minister's plans and programmes. This is evident from the results of the recently concluded Zilla Parishad elections. The party bagged 297 ZP seats in 2017 from just 36 seats in the previous rural polls held in 2012, Pradhan pointed out.
"The trend available from the recent polls indicate that Modi will get more support of the people in the coming days. Therefore, the Prime Minister has decided to make Odisha a laboratory of welfare schemes for the poor," Pradhan said.
BJP has only one MP among Odisha's 21 Lok Sabha seats. The saffron party has only ten MLAs in the 147-member Odisha Assembly.
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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2017 11:48:25 IST