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A cover-up bid, says OPCC chief

Special Correspondent

`Use Central funds properly'

Naveen Government acting with panchayat polls in mind, he says Plan to move Election Commission on electoral rolls

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee president Jayadev Jena on Wednesday blamed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for "misguiding people of the State by announcing various welfare schemes during the past few months".

At a press conference here, Mr. Jena alleged that Mr. Patnaik's efforts were aimed at covering up the Government's non-performance and strengthening the vote-bank of the ruling Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance ahead of the three-tier panchayat polls scheduled to be held early next year.

Funds for State schemes

The money that the alliance Government would spend under the Biju KBK Yojana and Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana would be a small part of the Central funds flowing in for infrastructure development in the rural areas of the State, Mr. Jena observed.

The BJD-BJP Government should concentrate on proper utilisation of the funds that are flowing in from the Centre under various schemes, including the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, instead of criticising the Congress-led Government at the Centre for `neglecting' the cause of the Orissa people", Mr. Jena said.

Bypoll victory

Expressing satisfaction over his party's victory in the recent bypoll held in the Talsara Assembly seat in Sundargarh district, Mr.

Jena said the Congress nominee was able to defeat the alliance candidate despite the best efforts of the alliance leaders.

"The ruling alliance had even violated the model code of conduct in its efforts to win the by-poll," Mr. Jena alleged.

He said the Talsara outcome had signalled the defeat of the alliance in the coming elections.

The PCC president alleged that the Government had also influenced the administration to delete the names of Congress supporters from electoral rolls in different parts of the State.

"We will appeal to the State Election Commission to check such irregularities." The incident of deletion of names of 2000 persons in Belaguntha area of Ganjam district was clear proof of such lapses, Mr. Jena said.

The High Court had recently directed the authorities to correct these mistakes, he added.

Naxal menace

Mr. Jena expressed concern over the Government's "failure" to curb the naxalite menace.

Pointing to the fact that 32 civilians and 36 police personnel had been killed in naxalite violence in the State since 2000, he said the Government had even failed to protect its own security men.

He reiterated his party's demand for the CBI probe into the recent killing of the Deputy Inspector General Jaswinder Singh in Rayagada district.

The PCC chief blamed the Government for failing to trace the report of the Judicial Commission which probed the stampede in Puri Jagannath temple in 1993.

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