BJD leaders insensitive to Odisha people's plight during COVID-19 pandemic: Pradhan

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 30 (PTI) Slamming the Odisha government for 'failing' to manage the COVID-19 situation in the state, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday accused the ruling BJD leaders of being 'insensitive' to people's plight during the pandemic.

He also alleged that the state government could not provide relief to distressed people, though the Centre has extended its support to the Naveen Patnaik dispensation.

'Though the Centre has provided over Rs 708 crore for Jagatsinghpur district, the state government could not extend relief to the distressed people. The BJD leaders are insensitive to people's plight during the COVID-19 pandemic,' Pradhan said while addressing a rally ahead of the November 3 by-elections to two Assembly segments in the state.

The senior BJP leader also alleged that the 'mismanagement was visible' across the state during the COVID-19 crisis.

Pradhan also slammed the BJD over 'defunct transformer' jibe at late Balasore Sadar MLA Madan Mohan Dutta.

'The ruling party leaders are arrogant and ignoring people's concern. Instead of respecting a deceased person, the BJD leaders have dishonoured him,' he said.

A BJD leader had recently courted controversy by describing the deceased BJP MLA from Balasore Sadar as 'defunct transformer'.

Pradhan highlighted the contribution of the Centre for development of Pradip, which falls under Jagatsinghpur district.

'The Centre has invested Rs 57,767.43 crore for different projects in Jagatsinghpur district,' he said, adding that such initiatives will create employment opportunities for the local people.

Pradhan also alleged that the BJD government failed to provide employments to youth, for which many people have migrated to other states.

The Centre has provided over Rs 22,267 crore to Odisha to help people during the COVID situation but the 'state government has not been able to retain migrant workers who had returned from other parts of the country' during the lockdown.

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