New Delhi: With Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his party not figuring in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scathing speech against the Odisha government, the Congress Tuesday said the “secret ties” between the BJP and the BJD had been exposed.
Spokesperson of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) P K Deb, however, rejected the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee’s (OPCC) allegation, saying the party had all along “maintained equidistance from both the BJP and the Congress”.
Modi, on his visit to Odisha on Monday, addressed a political rally in Khurda wheree he slammed the state government without mentioning the chief minister or the BJD directly. OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik launched a scathing attack on Modi and Naveen Patnaik, accusing both of adopting an anti-farmer attitude and trying to fool the people by making false promises ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
“Modi’s recent visit to Odisha has made it clear that the BJP and the BJD have an anti-farmer stance and they share secret ties,” he told reporters here.
The prime minister had inaugurated a slew of projects and had released a stamp and a coin to commemorate the Paika Rebellion of 1817 during his day-long visit to the state.
“Modiji had taken name of Lord Jagannath several times during his speech which is not acceptable,” the OPCC president said adding “using the name of the lord for votes will not yield results”.
“They (Modi and Naveen Patnaik) are simply trying to fool the people of Odisha… Both PM and CM have betrayed the people,” he added.
The OPCC chief said, “Naveen Babu had promised that all blocks will get at least 35 per cent of irrigation. Has it been done even in a single block out of the 314 in the state? He thinks people of Odisha are fools.” Refuting the charges, Deb said both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress make similar allegations against the BJD. “While Congress says that we are with BJP, the saffron party leaders also make similar charges. In fact, BJD maintains equal distance from both the national parties,” Deb said.
The BJP too rejected the allegations made by the Congress with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stressing that Modi was “polite, but critical”.
“The prime minister’s words were polite, but critical. The PM raised chit fund, PC (percentage commission), inefficiencies, poor nutrition and sanitation issues,” the minister said.
The BJP, he said, will launch a campaign from Wednesday across the state questioning the state government on different issues.
Meanwhile, OPCC has announced that it would observe December 26 as a ‘Black Day’ to protest against the alleged violation of constitutional rights of the panchayati raj bodies.
“The state government has snatched away the rights of panchayats and panchayat samities,” said Niranjan Patnaik.
December 26 is the 21st foundation day of BJD and the Congress programme will coincide with it.
‘People will not forgive Oppn’: PM after Pitroda raises questions on strike
New Delhi: Reacting to Pitroda’s comment, PM Modi said, “Opposition insults our forces time and again. I appeal to my fellow Indians- question Opposition leaders on their statements. Tell them- 130 crore Indians will not forgive or forget the Opposition for their antics. India stands firmly with our forces.”
“Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer militants in a language they understand and with interest,” read another tweet posted by PM Modi.
Minutes after PM Modi’s attack, Pitroda clarified his remarks stating that he was speaking in personal capacity and not on the behalf of the Congress party.
“I just said as a citizen I am entitled to know what happened. I am not talking on behalf of party, just speaking as a citizen. I have right to know, what is wrong in it,” news agency ANI quoted Pitroda as saying.
The prime minister also hit out at Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who on Thursday said that Pulwama attack was a “conspiracy” in which “soldiers were killed for votes”.
“Opposition is the natural habitat of terror apologists and questioners of our armed forces. This reprehensible statement by a senior leader like Ram Gopal Ji insults all those who have given their lives in protecting Kashmir. It humiliates the families of our martyrs,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.
A CRPF convoy was targeted in a suicide bombing on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama killing 40 soldiers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
On February 26, the IAF carried a strike at a camp, believed to be the biggest training centre of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot. The IAF later said that the mission was “successful”, which Pakistan denied.
Three fake campaigns of ‘compulsive contrarians’ busted in a single day: Jaitley
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said fake campaigns of ‘compulsive contrarians’ on three issues – the Hindu terror theory, the Godhra incident and Nirav Modi case – were busted in a single day.
In the Samjhauta Express blast case, the trial court on Wednesday dismissed the UPA government’s theory of Hindu terror; while in the Godhra case, the court convicted one more person. Also, the fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was arrested in the United Kingdom on the same day.
“…a fundamental difference between truth and falsehood is that truth holds together and falsehood falls apart. To each fake campaign of the ‘compulsive contrarians’ over a period of time, ultimately the truth has prevailed. Either it is the electoral mandate or the judicial process which gives the final verdict,” Jaitley said in his blog titled ‘Three Fake Campaigns Busted in a Single Day.’ Jaitley said Nirav Modi started cheating the public sector banks in 2011.
Modi’s crime was detected in 2018 by the banks and investigating agencies under the present government, Jaitley said, adding that Modi’s assets have been frozen, are being auctioned, criminal prosecution against him has been filed, recovery action for the dues owed to the banks and creditors are being pursued.
“On our request, he has now been arrested and denied bail. There is a strong unanswerable case against him and hopefully India will get him back. Whoever cheats India and its institutions cannot get away. He will be found out. This also busts the fake campaign that the present government had anything to do with him,” Jaitley said.
The minister said there is an inherent danger in relying only on fake issues. “I hope the manufacturers of fake campaign learn some lesson. They don’t seem to be considering their brazen attitude,” he added.
BJP denies Lok Sabha ticket to 6 UP lawmakers including Union Minister
Lucknow: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, six BJP lawmakers from Uttar Pradesh, including Union Minister Krishna Raj and National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Ram Shankar Katheria, have been benched.
The BJP announced its first list of 184 candidates for the national elections , fielding Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.
The party also nominated Smriti Irani from Amethi to take on Rahul Gandhi.
Others who have been refused party nominations are Anshul Verma from Hardoi, Babulal Chaudhary from Fatehpur Sikri, Anju Bala from Misrikh and Satya Pal Singh from Sambhal.
The new candidates who have been given tickets from these constituencies are SP Singh Baghel in Agra, Parameshwar Lal Saini in Sambhal, Raj Kumar Chaher in Fatehpur Sikri, Jai Prakash Rawat in Hardoi, Ashok Rawat in Misrikh and Arun Sagar in Shahjahanpur.
In the previous elections, with 5.8 lakh votes PM Modi had defeated AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal who had received 2 lakh votes in Varanasi.
In Lucknow, Rajnath Singh with 5.6 lakh votes defeated Rita Bahuguna Joshi of Congress by 2.7 lakh votes.
However, in Amethi, BJP’s Smriti Irani lost to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi by over one lakh votes.
In the first list in UP, the candidates who have got the ticket are: Raghav Lakhanpal (Saharanpur), Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan (Muzaffarnagar), Kunwar Bhartendra Singh (Bijnor), Rajendra Agrawal (Meerut), Satya Pal Singh (Baghpat), Vijay Kumar Singh (Ghaziabad) and Mahesh Sharma (Gautam Buddh Nagar).
Of them, VK Singh is Minister of State for External Affairs, Mahesh Sharma is the Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Culture, while Satya Pal Singh is the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development. The current Lok Sabha MP from Bijnor is Kunwar Bharatendra Singh.
The parliamentary constituencies in the state, which will vote on April 11 in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections are Baghpat, Bijnor, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Kairana, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur.
Results will be declared on May 23.
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