"While BJD is to be blamed for Odisha's poverty, backwardness and misrule, BJP is also equally responsible for this," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan said here.
Launching a scathing attack on both the parties, a day after BJP's national executive meeting, Harichandan said, "If BJD is 'Duryodhan' (mythological character) for Odisha, BJP can be described as 'Dusashan'." The OPCC chief said BJD and BJP shared power in Odisha for nine long years between 2000 and 2009. Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Odisha as "highly disappointing", the Congress leader said, "The PM did not utter a word about Odisha."
"People expected him to announce a special package for Odisha but Modi completely ignored the interests of the state as his focus was to safeguard BJP's interests," Harichandan alleged. Slamming the BJP over Mahanadi river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the Congress leader said the Centre failed to stop the construction of barrages on Mahanadi upstream by the BJP regime in Chhattisgarh.
"It was unfortunate that he (Modi) kept silent on Odisha's rights over Mahanadi water which is adversely hit due to the construction of barrages on upstream of the river by Chhattisgarh," the OPCC chief said. "The demand for formation of a tribunal to resolve the river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh has also gone unheeded by the Centre," he said.
"Modi failed to make his stand clear on the Mahanadi issue, which happens to be the lifeline of Odisha," Harichandan said. Stating that BJP has forgotten its poll promise of 2004, he said the prime minister should have declared "special category state status" for Odisha and a special financial package on the pattern doled out to Bihar.
Referring to the condition of farmers in the state, Harichandan said, "I had earlier demanded hike in the minimum support price on paddy from Rs 1,470 to Rs 3,000 per quintal. However, no step has been taken by the Modi government to mitigate the plight of peasants." "It also took no step to order a CBI probe into the multi-crore mining scam in Odisha as recommended by M B Shah commission of enquiry," he said.