Claiming to have clamped down on corrupt practices, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said those (opposition parties) who have been affected by it are now trying to gang up against him.
They want to take revenge by conspiring and spreading falsehood, he charged. Without naming any single party, he said they are all joining hands to take on Modi because the loot has been stopped during the last four-and-half-years.
Addressing a public meeting, his third in Odisha in three weeks time, the Prime Minister said there were six crore bogus ration cards, gas connections in the country, crores were being looted and the BJP-led central government cancelled all such ghost cards.
The leakage was to the tune of Rs 90,000 crore, he said.
“In the process your pradhan sevak, chowkidar has created enemies, who will protect Modi, who will safeguard the poor? The chowkidar will not rest till those who looted the poor are punished,” he asserted.
The Prime Minister stressed on his government’s commitment to inclusive development and referred to the 10 per cent reservation for the poor. We have done it without encroaching upon the existing reservation and without depriving them of their share, he pointed out.
The PM emphasised on the cultural heritage of the country which the previous government’s had ignored and forgotten.
Today, the BJP led government at the centre has laid focus on traditional values and rich culture of the country in such a forceful manner that the world is looking at us with envy, he said.
History teaches us how invaders attacked and plundered our temples and took away idols, they wanted to destroy our cultural identity, he said before adding that in the past four years many stolen idols have been brought back. Implicitly referring to the Congress, he said the erstwhile rulers never bothered because they never understood the importance of it.
They even criticised International Yoga Day, which in many ways was recognition of our rishis and their knowledge of body and soul. These people even objected to the Statue of Unity, renaming of islands in Andaman after Netaji Subhas Bose, he chided.
The tallest statue in the world has become a major tourist spot, the heritage tourism potential and job creation are worth taking note of, he said. Contrary to the expectations of the state BJP leaders and supporters who had gathered in large numbers from nine districts of this region, the PM did not lash out at the ruling BJD in the state.
The lone sentence against the Naveen Patnaik government was with regards to the utilisation of district mineral fund. The centre has provided the fund and Odisha got Rs 4,000 crore but the money is lying unspent. It should be used for the upliftment of tribals and the mining areas he said.
The BJD government here is “sleeping,” he charged while asking the state not to wait for elections to make announcements but work for the people. The PM went on to highlight the achievements of his government and said Ekalavya Schools will be set up in each block having a minimum tribal population of 20,000. Each tribal district will get a sports development fund of Rs 5 crore, he said.
Asking people to trust him, he said, “Had you ever imagined that in a short span of three weeks work worth Rs 20,000 crore has been initiated in the state?” Ease of living, job creation, irrigation is the focus, he said. Infrastructure, connectivity related work has been taken up in a big way, he said while stating that railways alone has provided Rs 20,000 crore to Odisha.
He recalled the sacrifice made by DD cameramen Achutananda Sahu who was killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh and said Sahu’s parents had met him. Sahu belongs to this district. It was an act of cowardice by the Naxals, charged the PM.
While a host of BJP leaders were present on the dais, Union Tribal Minister Jual Oram was the only other person to address the gathering. He called upon the people to vote for a BJP government at the centre as well as the state. Oram alleged that the state BJD government had failed on all counts and worse of all failed to protect women and children.
Earlier during the day, the PM inaugurated and dedicated projects worth Rs 1,500 crore.