Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Semiliguda, Mar 31:
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today made a frontal attack on the Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha by accusing it of being controlled by the mining mafia.
Addressing an election rally at Lunguri here, the Congress vice president said, “Odisha is not being run by its people, the mining mafia is running it”.
He said the Centre was providing the state with sufficient funds but the state government here has failed to utilise it for the benefit of the people.
Rahul said the MGNREGA and even the one-rupee-a-kilo rice programme of the state government were part of the Centrally funded schemes.
The Congress vice-president, hinting at the loot of minerals and rampant corruption in Odisha, told the crowd, “Your property is being looted and the benefits are not reaching you”.
Rahul emphasized on the need to empower women and said “Without empowerment of women the country cannot make any progress”.
The Nehru-Gandhi scion tried to strike an emotional chord with the local adivasis by saying he has been visiting Odisha more to meet them than any other section of the people and said be it his late father Rajiv Gandhi or he himself, his family has a special kind of relationship with the adivasis.
Gandhi said that money under tribal sub-plan was being diverted in Odisha.
“Money is sent under tribal sub-plan. They (Odisha government) divert it” for using for other purposes, Gandhi said.
He also accused the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance of not “talking about the welfare of the poor and tribals”.
“They do not speak about the welfare of the poor, the tribals,” Gandhi said.