Patnaik dismisses PM's allegations of corruption in Odisha govt

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday dismissed the prime minister's allegations about corruption in the state government, saying Narendra Modi must have said this to enthuse BJP workers.

Stepping up his criticism of the BJD dispensation ahead of the assembly and general elections next year, Modi Saturday alleged that a culture of "PC" (percentage commission) and delay in decisions had become the identity of the Odisha government resulting in the state's tardy development.

Reacting to Modi's remarks, Patnaik said the Centre should rather think about the scams in the skill mission and Ujjwala schemes.

The prime minister was in Odisha to address two public meetings at Talcher and Jharsuguda

"In fact, they should be thinking about their skill mission scam and Ujjwala scheme scam .. They should be considering that," the chief minister told reporters on returning from Jharsuguda, where he was with Moid at the inauguration of a new airport.

The Centre should also seriously think about the record increase in prices of petrol and diesel because of which the people of the country are suffering, the BJD president said.

On the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Patnaik said the state's scheme is better than the centre's as it covers an extra 50 lakh people and provides Rs 7 lakh to women as against Rs 5 lakh by the central programme.

Similarly, an extra 25 lakh poor people are covered under the food security scheme in the state, he said.

Modi at the public meeting in Talcher had slammed Patnaik for rejecting the Centre's flagship Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme for the poor.

The prime minister is set to launch the programme countrywide from Jharkhand Sunday. The scheme aims to provide Rs 5 lakh health insurance coverage per family annually to more than 10 crore poor households.

The Odisha government has not joined the central scheme, saying it has introduced a better programme, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, in the state.