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Cong attacks Naveen govt

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 15: Armed with facts and figures, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee today launched a scathing attack on the Naveen Patnaik government for accusing the Centre of neglecting the cause of Odisha.

The BJD is known here for targeting the Congress-led UPA government and blaming it for the state’s backwardness on all fronts.

“The Central government has been extending sustained support to Odisha as part of various programmes. There is no dearth of funds from the Centre during the UPA regime. However, the Odisha government has failed to rise up to the occasion and eradicate poverty. The BJD is carrying out a misinformation campaign against the Centre as a part of its political agenda,” said state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik.

Despite several steps taken by the Centre, half of Odisha’s households don’t even have electricity supply for domestic use, he said.

The Odisha Congress chief, who was accompanied by chief spokesperson Narasingha Mishra in his attack to the Odisha government, also said that the Union government’s transfer of funds to Odisha has increased from 25 per cent of the state budget in 1999-2000 to 49.1 per cent in 2009-10. Quoting figures from the Odisha government’s Economic Survey, Patnaik said: “In 2010-11, central share constituted about 52 per cent of Odisha’s total revenue receipts. Of these, tax devolution is the largest component.”

In terms of state-specific grants, Odisha has been awarded the second largest amount after Bihar, he said. Even in the subsidised rice scheme, the Central government shared the subsidy of an estimated Rs 1,900 crore.

The BJD leaders, however, refuted the claim of the Congress. “Our share in the railway sector has come down over the years. Odisha has certainly been a victim of central apathy. They are talking all rubbish keeping the coming election in mind,” said panchayati raj and parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das.