Shah attacked Odisha govt of not joining in Ayushmaan Bharat scheme

Puri, Odisha: BJP president Amit Shah on Monday unleashed a scathing attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, warning him of uprooting his government from the state.

Calling Odisha’s upcoming elections “vishisth” or special, Shah, who was addressing a rally of women party workers in Puri, said, “If party workers work hard in Gujarat, UP or Himachal, then Narendra Modi will become the prime minister in 2019 as well. But if party workers in Odisha work hard, not only will there be a BJP PM, but also a BJP CM”. Odisha is expected to hold general and assembly elections simultaneously next year.

Shah hammered the Odisha government for refusing to join Ayushmaan Bharat. “He (Patnaik) is afraid that if Ayushmaan Bharat is implemented in Odisha, PM Modi will be popular. He is more concerned about his chair (as CM)”.

The BJP leader also accused the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government of collusion with an Opposition that is “breaking India, while Modi ji is making India”. “Modi ji says remove poverty, unemployment and insecurity. But the opposition says remove Modi. This opposition, including BJD, suffers from ‘Modi-phobia’. They have no agenda, principle or leader”, he said.

Emphasising on the role of women in BJP, Shah said, “When a male worker joins our party, the number of workers increases by one. But when a female worker joins, she brings into our party an entire family”.

Shah also listed the status of women in Odisha by saying “the state is number one in harassment of women, fourth in dowry harassment, fifth in the number of gang rapes, sixth in the number of acid attacks (among all states)… instead of being number one in vikas (development)”.

Highlighting the contributions of the BJP government at the Centre, he said 5.5 crore gas connections were provided and 16 crore jan dhan accounts were opened for women. “There are 13 crore mudra women beneficiaries and 7.5 crore toilets for women”, he said.

The BJP president said that if the saffron party comes to power, not a single Odiya will die from consuming spurious liquor. “Producers of spurious liquor will be jailed”, he assured.

Shah’s chetavanis or warnings also targeted bureaucrats in the state. “Collectors, babus, IAS, IPS officers in this state are rajas (kings)… drop your sycophancy… after we come to power, no corrupt person will be spared”. He also alleged that the babus in the current state government are siphoning off funds released by the Centre for development works in Odisha.

The BJP leader also accused the state government of being in cahoots with rice mill owners and not offering farmers adequate and timely remuneration for their crops. “If you continue to do mili bhagat (be in cahoots), BJP workers will shake every brick in your government,” he said.

Commenting on the BJD, Shah said the party has lost the “principles” of Biju Patnaik and the “Janata” in it has run away. He accused the party and state government of complicity in the death of 14 BJP workers in Odisha. “The more you (BJD) spread the swamp of violence, the more will the lotus bloom”, he said.

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