BJD will play a major role in govt formation at Centre: Naveen Patnaik

Patnaik said this will give an opportunity for putting an end to the \"historical injustice\" meted out to the state.

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday claimed that the BJD will win all the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha and play a major role in government formation at the Centre in the coming elections in which no national party will be able to get a majority. "No national party will be able to win majority in Lok Sabha election this time.

BJD will have decisive role to play in formation of the next government at the Centre," the Biju Janata Dal president said while formally kick starting his party's poll campaign at a rally in Nayagarh. Claiming that the BJD will win all the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, Patnaik said this will give an opportunity for putting an end to the "historical injustice" meted out to the state. Assembly election is also scheduled to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in four phases in Odisha next month. In 2014, BJD had won 20 out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 117 of the 147 assembly segments. Mounting a blistering attack on the BJP-led Government at the Centre, Patnaik said BJP had promised to accord special category status for Odisha in its manifesto before the 2014 elections, but "refused to fulfil" it after coming to power.

The BJD supremo asserted that the fight for securing special category state status for Odisha will continue as it will ensure speedy development. "If Odisha is granted special category status, the state will be benefited immensely. Our youth will get employment and more funds would flow into state for ensuring speedy development," said Patnaik. Lamenting that Odisha has poor railway network, the chief minister said though the railways is earning highest profit to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore from Odisha, no concrete step was taken for strengthening rail network in the state. While Odisha is getting a meagre amount in railway sector, huge funds are being spent in other states. "Isnt it Central negligence," Patnaik asked. Hitting out at Narendra Modi government, the chief minister said the Centre is collecting thousands crores of rupees as revenue from coal sector in Odisha, while the state is getting pollution and dust. Stating that BJP leaders cannot fight for the rights of Odisha, Patnaik said they are controlled by their high command sitting in New Delhi. The BJD, on the other hand, is the party of Odisha and people of the state are our high command. "Our remote control lies with the 4.5 crore people of Odisha.

We have been fighting for Odia pride and safeguarding the interest of Odisha," the BJD supremo said. Noting that 33 per cent of Lok Sabha seats in the state are reserved by BJD for women for the coming election, Patnaik said the state government has taken a number of measures for empowering women. Affirming the state government's commitment towards the welfare of farmers, the chief minister said he is closely monitoring implementation of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme which has benefited 35 lakh farmers families in the state. Stating that no farmer would be left out in the direct benefit transfer scheme, Patnaik said opposition parties are "spreading lies" about KALIA and asserted that nobody can stop the scheme.

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