Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday brushed off Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegations about corruption in the state government, reported PTI.
A culture of “PC” (percentage commission) and delayed decisions had become the identity of the state government, the prime minister alleged earlier in the day during a visit to the state. This was the reason behind the state’s slow development, he added.
Patnaik said Modi must have made the comment to whip up interest among Bharatiya Janata Party workers about the state. The National Democratic Alliance government, the chief minister added, should be concerned about the increasing prices of petrol and diesel and find ways to ease the suffering of people. “In fact, they should be thinking about their skill mission scam and Ujjwala scheme scam... they should be considering that,” Patnaik told reporters.
The prime minister – who laid the foundation stone for the revival of the Talcher fertiliser plant in the state and inaugurated an airport in Jharsuguda district – had also urged Patnaik to join the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, which will be unveiled on Sunday.
“As many as 50 crore people will benefit from Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana under Ayushman Bharat scheme which will be launched tomorrow from Jharkhand,” Odisha TV quoted Modi as saying. “If Odisha government does not cooperate, I will not be able to serve you.”
However, Patnaik claimed that Odisha’s health insurance plan was better than the Centre’s scheme as it covered an extra 50 lakh people. It also gives women Rs 7 lakh as compared to the Rs 5 lakh given by the central scheme, he added.
An extra 25 lakh people similarly are provided benefits under the state’s food security scheme, the chief minister said.