Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for "parivartan" (change) while tearing into the Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government for its laidback attitude in ensuring "all-round and fast-paced development".
Addressing a public rally here after inaugurating a new airport, named after freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai, Prime Minister Modi said, "The pace of development of Odisha is slow and the government's willingness to transform the state has been the same even today. This has become an obstacle for all-round development. Odisha is lagging behind due to this government's laidback attitude."
Stressing that the entire country is progressing under the BJP-led government, he said, "Isliye Odisha mein ek parivartan ka samay aa gaya hain. Yeh parivartan hi apki aashao-umeedo ko pura karne ka kaam karega (So the time has come for change in Odisha. These changes will work to fulfill your hopes and expectations)." He also added that his government is working to improve the road, rail, water and air connectivity in the state.
Stepping up the attack on the state government, the Prime Minister said, "From irrigation to agriculture, from co-operative departments to road constructions, there are scams everywhere. This is affecting the people of the state. How will Odisha develop in such a situation?"
He further informed that work on the Jharsuguda-Barpali-Sardega rail link has begun, which will link the tribal areas of the state for the first time with the rest of the country.
Targeting the previous government, for stalling the rail project, Prime Minister Modi said, "The work began in 2006. But when Congress was at the Centre, less than 30 per cent of the work was done. After the formation of the BJP government, however, more than 70 per cent work was done in the last four years, and today I dedicate this route to the people of Odisha."
Prime Minister Modi, who is on a day's visit to the state, earlier in the day laid the foundation stone of Talcher Fertiliser Plant. Odisha is slated to go for assembly elections next year.