Baripada: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Odisha of being negligent towards the safety and security of women in the state.
The PM, while addressing a public meeting at Chhau Padia in Baripada, said the state government was not serious about women welfare programmes “as Odisha is lagging behind in women education, health and employment.”
Condemning the “weak” investigation by the state police that he said led to the acquittal of Pipili-gang rape accused, Modi said the victim was denied justice. “Odisha government should launch a probe into the case again to ensure justice to the victim,” he said.
On November 29, 2011, the victim, a 19-year-old Dalit girl from Arjungoda under Pipili police limits, was found in a semi-nude and unconscious state near her house in Arjungoda village of Pipili. She died on June 21, 2012 after undergoing treatment for months at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack.
On December 24, the Bhubaneswar ADJ court acquitted prime accused Prashant Pradhan and his brother Sukant due to lack of evidence against them.
Highlighting the benefits of universal health coverage scheme Ayushman Bharat, Modi urged the Odisha government to implement the Centre’s scheme in the state.
“We will always work towards the development of Odisha. Many poor people are deprived of healthcare and the government should think of how these people will benefit from Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana under Ayushman Bharat scheme. We must work together for a New India and a New Odisha,” the PM said.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan too came down heavily on the Odisha government over chit fund scam in the state.
The Union minister said the BJP’s primary aim was to get maximum Lok Sabha seats and at least 100 Assembly seats.
“In line with his vision of Purvodaya and his commitment towards the development of Odisha, PM Modi laid the foundation stones and dedicated various projects for the development of the people of Odisha. The inauguration of a bouquet of projects will ensure prosperity for Odisha,” Mr Pradhan said.
Meanwhile, responding to Modi’s allegation of a faulty probe in the Pipili gang rape case, Mr Patnaik stated, “We are following the case very diligently.”
Prior to the public rally, Modi laid foundation stones and inaugurated projects worth over `4,500 crore in Railways, LPG pipeline and Passport Seva Kendras in the state. He dedicated to the nation the Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur section of LPG pipeline project of IOCL and the Balasore multi-modal logistics park.
He also unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of work for the development and conservation of Rasika Ray temple at ancient fort, Haripurgarh.
This apart, the PM laid the foundation stone for the four-laning of various National Highway projects. He also flagged off the Tatanagar-Badampahar DEMU passenger train through video conferencing....