Bhubaneswar, Feb 11:
“I need 21 kamals (lotuses) from Odisha to usher in the change that the state badly needs. Unless there is a direct ‘pipeline’ from here to New Delhi and me, I cannot do much for your state even if I become the Prime Minister,” Modi said addressing a mammoth rally at the Baramunda Ground here in the afternoon.
Comparing the achievements of the BJP government in Gujarat with the BJD government in Odisha over the last 14 years, the BJP leader said; “In these 14 years, we made Gujarat so strong that people from all over the country, including every district in your state, go there in search of jobs. Your government, in contrast, has made you so poor that you still have to come to Gujarat and other states to earn your livelihood,”
Comparing Odisha with the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh, both of which were in similar conditions 10 years ago, Modi said while the latter has marched ahead, Odisha had not moved an inch and remained the poorest state despite its abundant natural resources.
Significantly, while Modi castigated the Odisha government for its alleged failures on several fronts, he did not mention Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by name even once. He, however, did take a dig at Patnaik on two fronts: his failure to speak Odia even after 14 years as Chief Minister and for his failure to stop the migration of people from the state, including his own district.
Modi, in fact, started with a few sentences in Odia. pronouncing Odia words much better than the Odisha Chief Minister does.
The major part of Modi’s speech was devoted to Odisha rather than national affairs. He sought to strike an emotional chord with the people by invoking Lord Jagannath and Late Biju Patnaik.
Taking a dig at chief minister Naveen Patnaik for failing to contain migration and provide employment to the youth despite abundant natural resources, Modi said while Gujarat has reached a stage where it attracts people from other states, in Odisha the youth have to migrate to other states to earn their bread.
“Even people from the Chief Minister’s district (Ganjam) are forced to go to Gujarat in search of jobs,” he said.
Modi also tried to poach on the Biju legacy, the mainstay of the Biju Janata Dal and one of the vital factors behind its popularity.
“This apathy of the state government and lack of development would certainly cause pain to Biju Babu’s soul. Should we not create an Odisha that makes Biju Babu happy? Building a prosperous Odisha would be the best tribute to the great leader,” said Modi,
Stating that Odisha has been lacking in the vision for development, he urged the people to support BJP in the 2014 elections and help it transform Odisha in such a manner that those who have left the state in search of jobs would also want to come back.
‘ Third Front meant to help Congress’
Modi said there is huge gap in the development scenario in the western and eastern parts of India. While the developed western states are being run by BJP, the eastern states are less developed because they are being governed by the parties who are dreaming of building the’ third front’.
“Those who advocate for the ‘third front’ have to be taught a lesson,” said Modi.
The 11 non-Congress and non-BJP political parties including BJD have come together recently to form a front in the Parliament.
“Eleven parties have come together to form third front. Out of them, nine are old supporters of the Congress. But when the election season comes, they wear the mask of the’ third front’. This front has only one agenda- to save the Congress. We have to unmask them and understand their real game plan,” said the BJP prime ministerial candidate.
What has the Congress given to the nation?
Launching an attack on the Congress Modi questioned the approach and attitude of the party towards people and their issues.
“What has the Congress given to the nation? It has been in power for 60 years and has been under the rule of one family. When the big guns of the party and the UPA government from Delhi keep coming here to deliver speeches. But why are their lips sealed on issues of corruption?” asked Modi.
Purifying the political system
Modi said 2014 elections were not just about who will form the government, but about purifying the political system.
“The nation as well as Odisha need the right leadership. If I want to do good for the state, I need you to elect BJP MPs from here. We need a direct pipe line from Odisha to Delhi. Even if I became prime minister I can not serve you unless you send BJP MPs to the Parliament. So send us 21 Lotuses from here if you want me to bring changes in Odisha,” said Modi.
Odisha vs BJP ruled states
Highlighting the progress witnessed in the BJP-ruled western states of Rajasthan, Gujarat ,Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Goa, Modi said there was remarkable improvement in the economic situation there. Chhattisgarh, he said, had shown tremendous growth in spite of the presence of Maoists.
He said, Chhatisgarh under Dr Raman Singh had fought against all odds to ensure the rice –deficit state becomes a rice surplus state and today it is supplying rice to neighbouring states.
In Madhya Pradesh, which was earlier considered a ‘bimaru’ state, has shown remarkable improvement the agricultural sector under Shivraj Singh, he added.