By Nageshwar Patnaik in Cuttack, May 26, 2018: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha for what he called ‘misleading’ people on the ongoing Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.

“The Odisha government has already admitted in the State Assembly that 50% of Mahanadi water drains into sea,” Modi said.

Addressing a rally at Bali Jatra Ground on the banks of river Mahanadi here to mark four years of completion of his government at centre, Modi towards the end of his more than an hour long speech before huge crowd made it clear that state government is misleading people on Mahanadi issue despite the Centre’s assistance to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

“Due to the Mahanadi water dispute, farmers of Odisha are suffering. We are committed to resolve their problems and address the challenges they have to face,” Modi said drawing a loud round of applause from the gathering.

Criticising the BJD government for its failure in providing proper health care to people, Modi said, “There is a lack of proper health facilities in several places and the situation is worse here in Odisha. I wonder what the state government has been doing all this while.”

The PM dubbed the Patnaik government as anti-farmer saying that the majuscule section of farmers has been denied irrigation facilities despite abundant availability of water in the state. “The people of Odisha want to know why the Lower Indra irrigation project, which began two decades ago, was delayed for so long”, the PM remarked.

Modi said his government is relentlessly working for the development of farmers across India but the Odisha government has failed in its part to do the same.

As part of the Act East policy, the PM chose Odisha to launch a fortnight-long programme from Cuttack, which he descried as a historical land. “It is my good fortune that I got the opportunity to greet my 125 crore countrymen from the land of great Lord Jagannath.”

Modi recalled the names of several freedom fighters from Odisha saying that tallest freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born in this holy land.

Modi took over as prime minister on May 26, 2014 after the BJP won an overwhelming majority winning 282 seats alone. At present, BJP has over 1,500 legislators across India.

PM Modi counted various schemes launched by his government and said that Jan Dhan Yojana is a big hit and it has led to every family having at least one bank account today.

Stressing on one of the major achievements of his government, Modi said, “Today the nation is going from kala dhan (black money) to jan dhan (people’s wealth). It has moved from anarchy to good governance. Chaos was caused for some when we made strict laws against black money, it made many come together and stand on the same stag, those accused in big scams are coming together now.”

“Three thousand raids were conducted by various agencies and undeclared income to the tune of Rs 73,000 crore was unearthed. Tough rules against black money have sent shivers down the spines of many who have come on one platform”, Modi said in an oblique reference to the opposition parties who are grouping against the NDA.

He also referred to corporate houses defrauding banks saying that it would not be easier any more for them to do so with tough rules being framed to rein in public money going down the drains.

In these four years, the 125 crore Indian have come to believe that our India can change Modi claimed saying that four former chief Ministers are behind bars. “Those involved in scams are coming together, not for the nation, but for themselves, their families”, he added.

Modi also found “incongruity” in the opposition unity against the BJP and said “corrupt” leaders were coming together to save themselves.

“I find strangeness and absurdity in the opposition unity. Some leaders are trying to divide people on the basic of caste, community to create vote banks and religion to fight against BJP. These leaders are trying to save themselves not the country,” Mr Modi said making an indirect reference to the Congress-JD (S) post-poll alliance in Karnataka.

Taking a jibe at the Nehru-Gandhi family, the prime minister said that his government was guided by “janmat” and not “Janpath”. “Some people born with the golden spoons are trying to perpetuate dynastic rule in the country. They always wanted power for their own protection and growth. They never worked for common people. But the present President, Vice President and Prime Minister were born in such families were even an ordinary spoon was a dream. They know the plights and problems of the people and carrying the country forward on the path of growth,” said the PM.

“During UPA regime, the Congress party used to run the government through remote control. The Congress party only gave the slogan of ‘garibi hatao’ instead of serving the poor. Half the people have no gas and electricity, road connection,” Modi said adding that more than 10 crore people have now access to cooking gas connection.

“The people can now see that the NDA government is working with the motto ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’,” he said.

Noting that the NDA government is not afraid of taking tough decisions, Modi said that it is not a government of confusion. “It is a government of commitment and it has the strength to go for surgical strike”, he said.

The BJP has also come up with a new slogan – ‘Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas’ – as it attempts to prepare ground for the big test in 2019.

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have planned several events to mark four years of Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre. While the BJP is looking to highlight the achievements of Modi government, Congress aims to underline the government’s failures through the programmes.

The BJP plans a massive reach out programmes from May 27 till June 11 to enumerate the work done by various ministries of the NDA government.

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