Bhubaneswar, April 5: Odisha received more central funds during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule than what it got during the term of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Saturday. Addressing an election rally at Khariar town in Nuapada district, about 550 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, Gandhi said the plight of the people, however, did not improve because the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in the state failed to deliver at the grassroots.
Accusing the BJD and the BJP – allies for 11 years until 2009 – of making false allegations against the Congress, she said the UPA government provided huge funds to the state without any discrimination. “These people (BJP and BJD) are in a habit of making false allegations. They never want to look within,” she said.
“During the last 10 years, our UPA government provided huge financial assistance to your state for your welfare without any discrimination. Thousands of crore rupees were given” she added. She said the funds were sanctioned under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for people to get employment.
However, it was “unfortunate” that people had to migrate in search of jobs, she said. Gandhi said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now probing a MNREGA scam running into thousands of crores of rupees in the state following the direction of the Supreme Court.
Highlighting several other scams, including the mining scam, pulses scam, mid-day meal scam, she said the central government doled out funds to the state for several schemes but the state government failed to implement them properly.
She appealed to the people to vote for the Congress. She also tried to strike an emotional chord with the gathering by reminding them about the role her son Rahul Gandhi, late husband and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and mother-in-law Indira Gandhi played in the development of Odisha’s tribal regions.