'Post-poll, they will...': Congress prez Kharge accuses PM Modi, CM Patnaik of 'ruining' Odisha

Kharge urged the public to support Congress candidates, promising significant reforms if the INDIA bloc government comes to power at the Centre.

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Courtesy: INC

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has launched a scathing attack on Odisha's Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing them of ruining Odisha. Speaking at an election rally in Balasore, Kharge claimed that the alliance between BJD and BJP before the elections has now fallen apart, but he predicted they would reunite post-elections. He warned that this election is a battle between the public and the BJD-BJP coalition, stating that if people do not oppose them, Dalits, tribals, and backward communities will lose their reservation rights.

Modi's Failure to Address Key Issues

Kharge criticised Prime Minister Modi for neglecting the needs of Dalits, tribals, and backward communities. He highlighted the increasing poverty and unemployment rates in the country, stating that 30 lakh posts are vacant at the central level and one and a half lakh posts are vacant in Odisha. According to Kharge, Modi and Patnaik have failed to address these employment issues, focusing instead on retaining power.

Natural Wealth Exploited

Kharge also accused the BJP and BJD of allowing the exploitation of Odisha's natural resources by wealthy industrialists like Adani and Ambani. He argued that despite Odisha's rich natural wealth, the state remains the poorest in India. He warned that if the BJP is not defeated, democracy and the constitution would be at risk, jeopardising the future of the people.

Allegations of Religious Insults

The Congress president further accused the BJP of insulting Hindu deities. He criticised BJP leader Sambit Patra for allegedly calling Lord Jagannath a devotee of Modi, which Kharge deemed shameful. He argued that efforts are being made to portray Modi as an eleventh incarnation of Vishnu, an idea Kharge strongly opposed. He cited the hardships faced by people during demonetisation and the COVID-19 pandemic as evidence of Modi's harmful policies.

Balasore Rail Accident

Referring to the Balasore rail accident, Kharge criticised Prime Minister Modi for his lack of response. He claimed that despite writing a letter to Modi requesting assistance for the victims, he received no reply. Kharge accused Modi of being indifferent to the suffering of the people.

Manipur Violence

Kharge also brought up the issue of violence in Manipur, accusing Modi of prioritising election campaigns over addressing the crisis. He highlighted the loss of lives, destruction of homes, and displacement of thousands of people in Manipur, criticising Modi for not visiting the state during the turmoil.

Promises from the Congress

Kharge urged the public to support Congress candidates, promising significant reforms if the INDIA bloc government comes to power at the Centre. He pledged a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), changes in the crop insurance scheme with payments within 30 days, loan waivers for farmers, and GST-free farming goods. He also promised to fill 30 lakh vacant posts at the Centre, provide one lakh rupees annually to youths under an apprenticeship program, offer one lakh rupees annually to women from poor families, and increase the monthly free foodgrain provision from five kilos to ten kilos. Additionally, he promised to raise the minimum wage in the MNREGA to Rs. 400.

Mallikarjun Kharge's strong criticisms of Modi and Patnaik highlight the contentious political climate in Odisha. As elections approach, the Congress party is positioning itself as a defender of the poor and marginalised, promising significant reforms and support for the people of Odisha.