The opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday hit out at the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha accusing it of failing on all fronts amid rampant corruption, misrule, farmers' miseries and sluggish industrial activity.
"BJD had promised to transform Odisha, but pushed the the state backward because of misrule, corruption, neglect of farmers and farm sector and inefficiency for the last 17 years," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
Mocking BJD for celebrating completion of three years of its fourth term in power, Harichandan said the state witnessed growing unemployment as the Naveen Patnaik government failed to give momentum to industrial activities.
While the ruling BJD is making tall claims about development to mislead people, the state's debt burden has sky-rocketed to Rs 65,000 crore in the last 17 years from Rs 18,000 crore in year 2000 when the regional party assumed power, Harichandan said.
The condition of farmers remained miserable and many of them committed suicide due to crop failure and debt burden, he claimed, adding, though BJD promised to irrigate 10 lakh hectare land in five years, barely one lakh hectare had been irrigated in last three years.
Though BJD had given a guarantee in its 2014 election manifesto that all villages will get safe drinking water, 98 per cent houses in rural areas are deprived of piped water till date, the PCC chief claimed.
Around 18 per cent of people are still forced to drink contaminated water from ponds, nullahs and canals, he said.
Electric supply was promised to all houses, but 33 lakh families are still deprived of power supply, Harichandan said adding agriculture sector is yet to get free electricity.
The promise to provide cold storage in every block remains hollow as only 33 of the 108 cold storages in the state are functioning at present, he said.
Stating that many BJD leaders are embroiled in chit fund scams, Harichandan said the scandal involved corruption to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore which ruined around 30 lakh families in the state.
As atrocities against women soared, about six rape incidents are being reported everyday in the state, he said adding, law and order situation remained pathetic though the chief minister held the home portfolio.
The state government failed to provide work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGA), forcing around five lakh people to migrate outside the state in search of jobs, the PCC chief claimed.
Because of lack of necessary support and cooperation from the state government, industrial houses are now reluctant to invest in Odisha, he alleged.
Accusing the BJD government of neglecting the MSME sector, he said this important sector is capable of providing a large number of jobs.