BJP losing ground across the country: Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, Apr 22 (PTI) Claiming that the BJP is fast losing ground across the country, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday accused the saffron party of indulging in falsehood, lies and violence.
The BJP’s main agenda is “lies, violence and hooliganism”, Patnaik, who is also the president of Biju Janta Dal (BJD), said while addressing a series of election meetings in Jagatsinghpur district.
“The party fields criminals, who are on bail, as its candidates. This is against our culture. The people will give a befitting reply to the BJP. The party’s downfall has begun across the country,” Patnaik said.
Patnaik’s statement has evoked sharp reaction from the BJP.
While addressing multiple rallies in Jajpur district, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “There has been rise in crime during Naveen’s 19-year rule. We will bring in a new legislation to stop hooliganism, if the BJP comes to power.”
“Attack on ECI’s flying squad and its magistrate by a BJD candidate, Pradeep Maharaty, and his arrest shows victory of the people of Odisha,” Pradhan said.
While speaking to the people of Jagatsinghpur, where about 10,000 lives were lost in the super cyclone in 1999, Patnaik said, “The first-time voters may not be aware of the 1999 super cyclone which had devastated Odisha. At that time, we had to depend on other states for relief and rescue works.
However, the situation has changed now.”
Claiming that Odisha today is a model state in disaster management, Patnaik said it has been extending help to other states hit by natural calamity.
“Earlier, rice was being procured from other states.
Now, we are supplying rice to states. Is not it a change?” Patnaik asked rival parties who often allege that there has been no development in the state during the BJD rule.
“In 2000, Odisha had only three medical colleges, now the state has nine government medical colleges,” Patnaik said.
The BJD president reiterated his allegation against BJP and accused it of conspiring to stop the ‘KALIA’ scheme which has “benefited 40 lakh farmers”.
Patnaik also announced that women will get healthcare assistance of Rs 10 lakh under the ‘Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana’, instead of the existing Rs 5 lakh.
He said the 4.5 crore people of Odisha are his family.
“I am always with you. The BJP leaders come during elections and vanish thereafter,” Patnaik said.

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