“Due to the involvement of your Chief Minister and other ministers in the chit fund scam, Odisha’s remote control is in the hands of a corrupt Chowkidaar. Naveen Patnaik sits and stands when Chaukidar presses the button. He has no option but to praise the disastrous policies of the Chowkidaar,” said Gandhi.
He was addressing the party’s Parivartan Sankalp Samavesh at Tamando ground, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
“Your government is being run from Nagpur and Delhi,” he added.
Rahul also painted Naveen Patnaik as the junior partner of Narendra Modi.
“Narendra Modi government at Delhi and Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha think in the same way: give all benefits to 15-20 industrialists and reap benefits from them,” said Rahul.
He said the RSS and BJP are spreading hatred among people in the country and ensuring that they fight against each other.
“Odisha has everything – water, forest, land and natural resources. Odisha is not a poor state, but the people here are poor because your resources are benefiting a few rich people,” he pointed out.
Gandhi also promised to waive agricultural loan in Odisha if the party comes to power in the state.
“We waived farm loans in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. I want to tell farmers of Odisha that as soon as Congress government is formed here, within 10 days, it will waive loans of Odisha farmers,” said the Congress President.
He also promised to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy for farmers.
“The Congress government in Chhattisgarh gives Rs 2,500 on paddy per quintal. I appeal to the Congress here to give Rs 2600 MSP on paddy to Odisha farmers,” he said.
He also promised to set up food processing plants in each district and connect the plants with cold-chains.
“I am not Narendra Modi, I am not Naveen Patnaik. What I promise from this stage, I will fulfil it,” said Rahul.
“I am not here to tell lies such as we would deposit Rs 15 lakh (in each account, a “promise” that the BJP made). I will not lie to you because, I respect people of Odisha,” he added.
Attacking both Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik on growing unemployment, Gandhi said while Modi had promised to provide 2 crore jobs every year, Patnaik had assured people of 30 lakh jobs by 2020.
“Educated youths are not getting jobs in Odisha. About 60 lakh people are going to other states in search of jobs. However, our party will provide job opportunities to the youth with the establishment of a web of industries, if we are voted to power in the state,” said Rahul.
“Our goal is to provide employment to the youth and protect the farmers of Odisha,” said Rahul.
He also promised that all vacant government jobs will be filled in the state if the Congress came to power.
He said 1,31,000 government posts, 30,000 teacher posts, 1,200 lecturer posts in universities and 3000 lecturer posts in colleges are vacant.
Talking about the Rafale deal, he said youths in the state could have got jobs had the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) manufactured the aircraft in its Odisha plant.
He also attacked the state government on the deteriorating health sector.
“This is the place where a poor Adivasi man had to carry the dead body of his wife for 10 km. And Shri Naveen Patnaik talks about development,” he said.
Rahul also appealed to party workers to work for the defeat of Modi at the Centre and Naveen in Odisha.
“You have made the Congress party a fighting force in Odisha. All our leaders and party workers stand together in the mission to defeat Naveen Patnaik in state and Narendra Modi at the Centre and we will accomplish it,” he said.