Healthcare services in Odisha in a shambles: Pradhan
Bhubaneswar: Accusing BJD Government of betraying people amid COVID-19 crisis, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday said though the Centre provided it over Rs 22,000 crore for fighting the pandemic, healthcare services in the State are in a “shambles as funds are being siphoned.” Launching a stinging attack on Naveen Patnaik regime, the senior BJP leader said the Centre rolled out a series of schemes to mitigate the plight of the distressed during the pandemic, but people continued to suffer in Odisha due to “gross mismanagement” on the part of an “insensitive” administration.
“Funds from the Centre are being siphoned. Narendra Modi Government provided an assistance of Rs 22,267 crore to enable the State to fight the pandemic, but healthcare services continue to be in a pathetic condition in Odisha,” Pradhan said.
“Even the situation in the State capital Bhubaneswar remains grim due to negligence of healthcare… forget about remote areas in districts like Malkangiri,” the Union Petroleum and Steel Minister said, addressing a virtual rally of BJP for the by-election to Tirtol Assembly seat in Jagatsinghpur district.
The Centre always stood by the State during natural disasters, Pradhan said, adding that after cyclone Amphan battered Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only visited the State but immediately announced Rs 500 crore for relief, rehabilitation and restoration work.
Slamming the BJD Government for refusing to implement Ayushman Bharat Yojana in the State, he said lakhs of poor people are “deprived” of its benefit as the State Government is reluctant to rise above political considerations.
Pradhan said the Centre has been trying to convince the State Government to implement the healthcare scheme as it would also benefit lakhs of migrants working outside Odisha.
The Centre arranged special trains to ensure safe return of lakhs of migrant workers from different parts of the country to Odisha during the COVID-19 crisis and Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana was also implemented to provide them with jobs, but Odisha Government “failed” to give them employment despite being in power for more than 20 years, he said.
The State is witnessing growing unemployment marked by large scale migration as the Government “failed” to create job opportunities for the unemployed youth, he said.
“Misgovernance and insensitiveness of the BJD Government, which has been misleading the people, came to the fore during the pandemic. Funds from the Centre are being misused,” Pradhan said.
The senior BJP leader also hit out at the BJD Government over chit fund and mining scams and accused it of betraying the people all along by making false promises in order to grab their votes.
Urging people to vote for BJP candidate Rajkishore Behera, Pradhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hand must be strengthened as he is keen to transform Odisha into a developed State.
Bypolls in Tirtol and Balasore Sadar Assembly constituencies are scheduled to be held on November 3.