Orissa unable to spend central fund: Rahul

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Berhampur, Mar 09 (UNI) AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today accused the BJD-BJP government in Orissa of its failure in utilising the central fund for the welfare of the backward region.

Mr Gandhi, who toured several parts of the state during the last three days of his 'Discover India' campaign, said he had never seen such poverty and backwardness before in his life.

Addressing the 'Thanksgiving Rally' at MKCG Medical College ground here, Mr Gandhi said he was astonished to see ten girl students sleeping on three cots in a hostel, where teachers were not coming regularly.

He said though the UPA government at the Center was providing sufficient funds to Orissa, the state government was able to spend only Rs 0.56 paise from every one rupee and returning the rest unspent amount to the Centre.

The youth leader said the Congress-led UPA was trying to eliminate the difference between the 'haves and the havenots' in education, water and power sectors.

Coming down heavily on the ruling BJD-BJP alliance, the AICC General Secretary said the people should dump the Naveen Patnaik government, which had failed in all fronts.

Union Minister Ajaya Maken and Chandra Sekhar Sahu along with All India Yuva Congress president Ashok Tanwar, OPCC president Jayadev Jena and Orissa Youth Congress president Lalit Pujari also addressed the gathering stating that the tour of Rahul Gandhi has strengthened the Congress organisation in the state.

Meanwhile, BJP general secretary and firebrand leader Binay Katiar today criticised Rahul Gandhi for the 'Discover India' show here in separate public meeting under tight security.

''Rahul is still a child and does not know about India,'' Katiar said in the 'Sankalp Rally' held at Khallikote College stadium.

UNI XC DP PP AB 1951

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