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BJD tired of ‘staying too long’ in power, lacks vision: Pradhan

Senior BJP leader and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan intensified the campaign against the ruling BJD for the December 5 Padampur bypoll on Wednesday, claiming that the Naveen Patnaik-led party was “tired because it had held power for 22 years” in Odisha and therefore has no vision for the development of the state.

While campaigning for party candidate Pradip Purohit, he also accused the BJD government of renaming and passing off central plans as state government initiatives.

The Union Minister of Education has participated in several meetings and roadshows in the conference chair since Tuesday.

“The state government has grown weary from being in power for too long over the past 22 years. It is therefore unable to come up with new ideas for welfare schemes,” he said.

Accusing the state government of renaming plans of the central government and letting them run on its own account, he said this was an attempt to mislead the common people of the state.

He was referring to the government’s announcement to raise the limit of interest-free loans for women’s self-help groups from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday describing the decision as “revolutionary”.

“What’s so revolutionary about it? The center had already formulated such an arrangement and the state government was just trying to put its name to it,” he said.

He claimed that the state government has failed to keep its promises.

“What has the BJD government done for the people? There are no teachers in schools, doctors in hospitals, water to drink and irrigation facilities.

“People have given Patnaik 22 years and he is waking up for the elections. Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives him money, Patnaik cannot spend it,” he said.

BJD vice president and former finance minister Prasanna Acharya said, “Pradhan often says that Modi has given money to Odisha. Modi is only one person, Odisha has not received alms from anyone. This is a federal system and our state gets some help from the Union government, not the prime minister.”

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