Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated a slew of development projects in Odisha and also hit out at the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government, saying that the "demon of corruption" in various sectors has become strong in the state.
Modi, who launched a slew of projects for the state and released a stamp and a coin to commemorate Odisha's 1817 Paika rebellion, was addressing a BJP rally in the Khurda town where in an apparent jibe at the BJD government, he asked, "Who is feeding the demon (of corruption)?" "The demon of corruption has grown in chit fund, PC (percentage commission) culture... The truth of Odisha's development is not hidden. Farmers, women are raising their voice," he said.
Modi also hit out at the Odisha government for not adopting the Centre's mega health scheme Ayushman Bharat. "People of the state are asking why they have been deprived of the benefits of the health scheme which is available in other states of the country," Modi said.
Modi reiterated that his government at the Centre is fully committed to the all-around development of Odisha as he announced projects worth Rs 14,000 crore for the emerging state. He also inaugurated the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, which is built at a cost of Rs 1,260 crore and said it would prove to be a centre of the dreams for Odisha's youth and also provide employment.
The investment is a continuation of Centre's 'Purvodaya' vision through which Modi laid the foundation stone of various infrastructure projects on Monday. In Bhubaneswar, Modi laid the foundation of Paradip Hyderabad Pipeline Product Project (PHPL) and the Bokaro-Angul section of Jagdishpur-Haldia and the Bokaro-Dhamra Gas Pipeline Project (PM Urja Ganga). In Lalitgiri, Modi inaugurated an archaeological museum. He also inaugurated an Employee's State Insurance (ESI) Hospital in Bhubaneswar, which was recently ramped up from a 50 to 100-bed hospital. Moreover, the prime minister participated in the ceremony to mark landing of sections of four national highways, namely Chandikhole-Bhadrak section of NH 5 (new NH16), Khandagiri Flyover, Bhubaneswar on NH 5 (new NH16), Cuttack-Angul section of NH 42 (new NH55) and Tangi-Puintola section of NH 5 (new NH16). He also established the Buxi Jagabandhu Research Chair at the Utkal University.
Modi also stressed on the judicious use of Odisha's natural bio-fuel resources and announced an oil reserve in Chandikhole and a special bio-fuel plant for the state. Polls in Odisha are due to be held along with the general elections in 2019.
Earlier in the day, Modi released a commemorative coin worth Rs 100 as a tribute to late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a day before his 94th birth anniversary. The commemorative coin has the Emblem of India on its front face while the reverse side of the coin has a portrait of Vajpayee and his name inscribed in both Devanagari and Roman. Speaking on the occasion, Modi said: "Our mind is not ready to believe that Atal ji is no longer with us. He was a stalwart loved and respected across all sections of society. As a speaker, he was unparalleled. He was among the best orators our nation has produced."
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, finance minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma, BJP national president Amit Shah and veteran BJP leader LK Advani were also present at the event. The former prime minister's birthday, which falls on 25 December, is celebrated as the 'Good Governance Day' by the BJP.
With inputs from agencies
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Dec 24, 2018 18:59:32 IST