State

BJD Govt in Odisha a Failure on All Fronts: Congress

Bhubaneswar, Jan 06: Dubbing the BJD government in Odisha as a failure on all fronts in 2014 when a series of scams rocked the state, Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik on Monday claimed the ongoing CBI probe into the chitfund scandal appeared to have slowed down during last one month.

"CBI is now investigating the chitfund scam in which about 150 Ponzi scheme companies looted over Rs 10,000 crore from seven to ten lakh people in Odisha," Patnaik told reporters here.

Alleging that the state government, administration and police had worked together with these chitfund firms, the former OPCC president said even MoUs were concluded with some of those tainted companies.

Stating that poor investors were yet to get back their money, the Congress leader wondered whether the CBI probe got slowed down due to any understanding and claimed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was an expert in it.

Moreover, the BJD government which had been frequently accusing the Centre of neglecting the state, was now unable to muster courage to make such allegation due to the fear of CBI, Patnaik said adding there was no answer as to why central funds were returning back unutilised.

Referring to mining, Patnaik said the state government had issued notices in November 2012 to recover Rs 60,000 crore dues from mines lease holders, but the move was simply an eyewash and has not yielded any result so far.

Describing the industrial scenario as gloomy, Patnaik said though MoUs were signed with around 45 companies between 2003 and 2006 for investment to the tune of Rs 1,95,000 crore, most of the projects failed to take off.

The health sector was in an equally pathetic state amid alarming spread of jaundice in Sambalpur, deaths of newborns in Burla hospital and mismanagement in SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack, Patnaik alleged.

Agriculture sector also cut a sorry picture in the absence of any long-term solution to problems faced in procurement of paddy and farmers were forced to sell their produce at throw away prices, he claimed accusing the administration of being inefficient and incapable.

Patnaik lamented that despite BJD being in power for the past 14 years in Odisha, Congress was unable to take advantage of the situation.

Offering all support and cooperation to new PCC president Prasad Harichandan, he said concrete steps should be taken to rejuvenate the party in the state.

-PTI

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