Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Odisha on Monday where he launched a slew of projects for the state and released a stamp and a coin to commemorate Odisha’s 1817 Paika rebellion. The saffron party, which tasted defeat at the hands of the Congress in recently-concluded assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, is eyeing major gains in Odisha in the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
While addressing a rally in Khurda town, Modi hit out at the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government, saying the “demon of corruption” in various sectors has become strong in the state. The prime minister in an apparent jibe at the BJD government, asked,”Who is feeding the demon (of corruption)?”
“The demon of corruption has grown in chit fund, PC (percentage commission) culture… The truth of Odisha’s development is not hidden. Farmers, women are raising their voice,” he said.
Polls in Odisha are due to be held along with the general elections.
Modi also hit out at the Odisha government for not adopting the Centre’s mega health scheme Ayushman Bharat. “People of the state are asking why they have been deprived of the benefits of the health scheme which is available in other states of the country,” Modi said.
The prime minister also inaugurated the new campus of IIT-Bhubaneswar, built at a cost of Rs 1,660 crore. During the event, Modi in his speech said: “Starting from infrastructure to development of the Odisha people — all steps are being taken. I assure you that this work will continue.”
“I got the opportunity to dedicate IIT Bhubaneswar to the youth, for which Rs 1,260 crores have been spent. “This grand campus will not only be a centre of dreams for the youth of Odisha but will also provide employment opportunities.”
“The central government is fully committed to the overall development of Odisha,” he told a gathering here as he also laid foundation stones and unveiled various projects worth Rs 14,000 crore.
He also inaugurated an archaeological museum at Lalitgiri, which provides evidence of the 2000-year-old early Buddhist settlements in the region and a 100-bed upgraded ward of the ESI Hospital in Bhubaneswar.
The Prime Minister said the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Yojna is moving fast towards providing gas through a pipeline in eastern India as he laid the foundation of the Paradip-Hyderabad Pipeline Project (PHPL) by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and the Bokaro-Angul section pipeline project (Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga) by Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of a six-lane stretch Chandikhol-Bhadrak of National Highway-16, a four-lane stretch of National Highway-16 between Cuttack and Angul, 6 laning of the Tangi-Puintola section of NH-16 and Kandagiri flyover on NH-16.