Leaders hit the campaign trail for Odisha 2nd round

Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi address public meetings seeking support for their parties in Odisha 

Updated - May 16, 2024 07:55 am IST

Published - May 16, 2024 03:42 am IST - BHUBANESWAR

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting for the Odisha Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, in Balangir on May 15, 2024.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting for the Odisha Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, in Balangir on May 15, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

With five days left for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election, and the second for Odisha, Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and Congress Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi hit the campaign trail canvassing support for their respective parties.

While Mr. Shah came down heavily on Odisha CM for promoting non-Odia in running the government, Mr. Gandhi repeated his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for patronising a select group of industrialists.

At a public meeting under Aska Lok Sabha constituency in Ganjam district, the Home Minister said, “people elected Mr. Patnaik to govern the State, but a group of bureaucrats are running it instead. If the Odisha CM had to hand over the government to a bureaucrat, it should have been an Odia bureaucrat, not an outsider.”

These bureaucrats damaged the image of Odisha which is known for its rich culture, literature and heritage, he said.

“PM Mr. Modi is giving 5 kg of rice per person every month. The Odisha CM is providing the same rice in a bag with his photographs printed on it. If you (Mr. Patnaik) want to help poor people, you can give additional 2.5 kg of rice in that bag,” he said. Later in the evening, the HM a roadshow in Cuttack.

Mr. Gandhi addressed a meeting in Balangir where he lashed out at PM Mr. Modi saying he waived off loan to the tune of ₹16 lakh crore pending against 22 industrialist. “If the Bharatiya Janta Party would come to power, it would replace the Indian Constitution with a newer one,” he warned.

The senior Congress leader listed party’s promises of ₹1 lakh assistance for woman member of family, apprentice of unemployed youth at ₹1 lakh per month and waiver of farm loan in the country.

Similarly, Odisha CM addressed public meetings at three places in Sambalpur Assembly constituencies where he promised that people would get free electricity up to 100 units of power for free from July, a month after declaration of results. He termed Opposition attack on his government as bunch of lies.

Speaker and senior BJP leader Om Birla also arrived in Odisha to campaign for the party. BJP President J.P. Nadda is scheduled to a hold a road show in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. PM Mr. Modi had already held road show in Bhubaneswar.

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