Bhubaneswar: Accusing successive Central governments of neglecting Orissa, Biju Janata Dal supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said the victory in the Lok Sabha elections would enable his regional party to focus on the interest of the state.
“Consecutive Central governments have neglected Orissa for decades and the victory has given us strength to work for welfare of the poor,” Patnaik told a local TV channel while referring to the landslide BJD victory in the assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
Citing an instance of Centre’s “apathy”, the chief minister said he was “shocked” to get a letter from the Union government three days ago asking the state to return Rs80 crore of the Rs98 crore given as flood assistance earlier.
“The Centre gave hundreds of crores of rupees to other states during floods while Orissa got only Rs98 crore. Now they are asking us to return the money,” Patnaik, who was at the helm of the state affairs for the third time, said.
Turning to the “people’s mandate received by BJD”, he said, “pro-poor schemes and my call for peace and harmony were instrumental in the win” referring to the implementation of several schemes including Rs2/kg rice and government’s peace drive following the Kandhamal violence.
Asked whether he had been contacted by Congress leader Kamal Nath soon after the polls, Patnaik replied: “Not at all.”