Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi on Saturday assured that they will impress upon PM Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman to formulate a special package of assistance for the hotel and tourism sector in Odisha in view of the damage cause by Cyclone Fani.
The two ministers, along with BJP MLAs Jayant Sarangi (Puri) and LB Mahapatra (Brahmagiri) as well as party spokesperson Sambit Patra, held a post cyclone reconstruction review meeting at Puri on Saturday.
They visited Jagannath Temple and sought the blessings of the Lord before the review.
Pradhan said the centre had been proactive in assisting the state government in relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work.
“I will plead for a special package for the tourism and hotel industry here and Puri which was worst hit by Fani on 3 May will be rebuilt to its past glory,” he said.
As steel minister, he said, the focus will be on ancillary industries to create employment opportunity.
Odisha will be the steel hub of the country, he noted.
Minister Sarangi said the MSME sector in the state will be revived and the fishing industry will be in focus given the long 480 km coastline in the state.
The two central ministers pointed out that even before Cyclone Fani had struck the state, the Centre had released Rs 342 crore and immediately thereafter followed it up with assistance of Rs 1000 crore.
Later in the evening the BJP organised a public felicitation programme for all elected MLAs and MPs.
Addressing the gathering, Pradhan said one should not be satisfied with the results in Odisha where the BJP won 8 of the 21 LS seats and 23 of the 147 assembly seats.
“In 2014 when the nation voted for PM Modi, we in Odisha had failed. This time we have increased our vote share and dislodged the Congress from the position of main opposition party in the state,” he said.
Though the BJP is the only party that has increased its vote share in Odisha, the BJD continues to be in power, he noted adding that the Congress has almost disappeared.
Our struggle should continue till we attain the goal of becoming the number one party in the state, he said.
Referring to the pre-poll ‘Mission 120 plus’ target of Amit Shah, he said the target continues to be there and we will achieve it.
Retorting at “those (BJD)” who ask “what happened to your 120 plus and claim of forming the government in Odisha”, Pradhan put the counter – “what happened to your (CM Naveen Patnaik) claim of 21 out of 21 LS seats”.
“CM Naveen Patnaik had not only said that his party will win 21 out of 21 LS seats in the state but also play a key role in government formation at the centre. He had said no national party will get a majority and the regional parties will hold the key,” Pradhan said while underlining the fact that the PM has won 303 seats.
Sarangi, on his part, narrated how he was surprised by the call from party president Amit Shah asking him to get ready to take oath as minister.
“I will miss debating in parliament which is what I had wanted,” he remarked.