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Padampur Bypoll: Naveen Patnaik Hits Campaign Trail, Says BJP Shedding ‘Crocodile Tears’ for the Poor

The high-voltage campaign for the December by-poll in the Padampur assembly constituency has intensified as Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik campaigned for BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha. Addressing a public meeting in Jharbandh, he urged people to vote for Bariha and accused the Narendra Modi government of shedding “crocodile tears” for the poor by telling lies.

Speaking at the rally, the BJD chief began his speech with ‘Jai Nrusinghanath’ the presiding deity of the region, and offered tributes to eminent poet Gangadhar Meher. The chief minister said his government has taken a slew of measures for the welfare of the farmers and the party will continue it. BJD aims at ensuring the empowerment of women and several steps taken by the BJD government, he said.

Patnaik targeted the BJP government for not doing enough to check the price rise and raised concerns faced by kendu leaf pluckers over high GST imposition. “The BJP government is charging 3% GST on gold but 18% on Kendu leaves. BJP is playing with the emotions of people,” he said adding his government has also been working for the welfare of kendu leaf pluckers.

Raising questions on the MSP imposed on Paddy, Patnaik said “The Center is shedding crocodile tears for farmers.”

Chief Minister Patnaik said that “Central government announced that everyone would get home by 2022. However, 10 lakh beneficiaries across the state and 25,000 poor people of Padmapur are yet to get houses.” He further said that “While Odisha has been awarded by Centre for good work, the closure of the scheme is a matter of concern.”

Highlighting that the state government has disbursed Rs 1000 crore for farmers-related work, he accused the Centre of delayed disbursal of crop insurance under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and vowed to fight for the rights of the farmers in Padampur who have not received their insurance claims so far.

“The Centre is neglecting in issuing crop insurance, provide fertilizer and procure paddy. I will fight for you against the central government,” he said adding that farmers in Padampur have yet to receive their crop insurance.

Asserting that farmers’ insurance assistance is held by the centre, he said the state governments share 50% premium in central schemes. PMFBY is a central government scheme. It is meant for the benefit of farmers. But BJP leaders will not say anything regarding this injustice to farmers. I will fight for your right,” he said.

He also said the BJD government has been fighting for the rights of poor people and has been working for the betterment of the living standards of people.

(With inputs from Dusmant Behera, Navesh Mohanty, and Tribikram Pradhan from Bargarh)

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