BHUBANESWAR: Ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday claimed that the opposition BJP has resorted to break EVMs fearing defeat in the second phase of polling too.
Patnaik was referring to the arrest of BJP’s Sorada assembly candidate Nilami Bisoi on charge of breaking an EVM during the second phase of polling on April 18.
“The BJP is worried after realising that its candidates face defeat in the second phase of polls too. So it has started breaking EVMs,” Patnaik said while addressing election meetings at Angul and Talcher under Dhenkanal Lok Sabha constituency.
He had earlier said the BJP will lose in the seats where polling was held in the first phase on April 11. The BJP does not know how to respect the people’s mandate, he claimed.
Patnaik reiterated that regional parties will play the role of king-makers in government formation at the Centre as no national party will get majority.
Intensifying his attack against the saffron party in the coal belt, Patnaik said, “The central public sectors units like MCL and NTPC generate huge revenue from Odisha, but the state is getting only pollution and dust in return.”
The Chief Minister also charged the BJP-led central government with non-revision of coal royalty for the state. “Why a 5-minute’s job of coal royalty revision could not be done in the past five years?” Patnaik asked.
He also criticised the Narendra Modi government for allegedly stopping disbursal of funds to farmers under KALIA scheme.
“The BJP is trying to stop KALIA, the flagship scheme launched by my government. It has benefited about 40 lakh farmers till date. However, no one can stop the KALIA scheme. I assure you that my next government on the day of its oath taking will disburse the two pending instalments to bank accounts of farmers,” he said.
In its 2014 poll manifesto, the BJP had promised to double the minimum support price of paddy but it is yet to be fulfilled, the chief minister said.
He also alleged that the Centre’s apathy towards Odisha is evident from blocking of the Mahanadi water, slashing of post-Matric scholarship for Scheduled Caste students and minimal assistance after natural calamities.
Lok Sabha and assembly elections are being held simultaneously in the state.