‘Contractors’ from Tamil Nadu controlling Odisha govt., says Smriti Irani

‘Funds sent by the Centre for drinking water supply programme in Odisha were looted’

Updated - May 26, 2024 01:12 am IST

Published - May 25, 2024 10:20 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

 Union Minister Smriti Irani addresses a rally for Lok Sabha polls, in Patna, on May 24, 2024.

Union Minister Smriti Irani addresses a rally for Lok Sabha polls, in Patna, on May 24, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Smriti Irani on Saturday said governance in Odisha was being dictated by “contractors” from Tamil Nadu.

Ms. Irani was alluding to the alleged dominance of V.K. Pandian – Tamil Nadu-born former IAS officer and former private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik – in governance as well as in the affairs of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).   

Addressing campaign rallies in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Balasore constituencies, which are going to polls on June 1 in the last phase, the BJP leader said the State government, which was being remotely controlled from Tamil Nadu, was clueless when natural disasters such as floods and cyclones hit the State.

Thekedar (contractor) remote-controls the BJD government and Tamil thekedars plundered the money sent by the Narendra Modi government. Funds sent for drinking water supply under the Jal Jeevan Mission programme are looted by Tamil thekedars,” she said.

On the raging controversy over the missing keys of the Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri, Ms. Irani said the culprits would be punished when the BJP forms government in the State. She alleged that the Odisha Chief Minister was being held “captive” [by a coterie of bureaucrats] and was incapable of speaking independently.

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