Padampur by-poll: Union ministers hit campaign trail, accuse BJD leaders of peddling lies
Electioneering for bypoll to Padampur assembly seat heated up on Sunday with two central ministers, Narendra Singh Tomar and Ashwini Vaishnaw, hitting the campaign trail and accusing BJD leaders of ''lying to people'' over farmers' issues and other development work.
Addressing a joint election meeting at Paikmal in the bypoll-bound Odisha seat, where farmers make for a sizeable chunk of the population, Tomar, the Union agriculture minister, claimed that slow pace of work by the BJD government led to delayed disbursal of crop insurance in the state.
Both the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP in the state had been blaming each other for the delay in payment of crop insurance to farmers affected by drought.
''The Centre has long released funds for crop insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The farmers here did not get the money due to the Odisha government's slow pace of work.
''Instead of settling all claims, the state government is now misleading people with fake allegations,'' Tomar said, adding that no party should politicise issues that affect farmers' interests.
Appealing to people to cast their votes in favour of BJP candidate Pradip Purohit, Tomar said that farmers would have never suffered had the saffron party formed government in the state.
''Padampur bypoll, if won by the BJP, will send a clear message to the people of Odisha that winds of change are blowing in the state,'' he maintained.
Bypoll to Padampur was necessitated by the death of MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha in October.
The BJP has fielded its Odisha unit Krushak Morcha chief Pradip Purohit from the seat, who is set to take on BJD's Barsha Singh Bariha, the elder daughter of the deceased MLA.
Voting will be held on December 5, and the results will be released three days later.
Vaishnaw, the railway minister, claimed at the public meeting that BJD leaders had been ''misguiding people with lies'' about a proposed rail line project in Bargarh district, of which the bypoll-bound assembly segment is a part.
''The state's commerce and transport minister, Tukuni Sahu, and ex-MP Prasanna Acharya have been wrongly blaming the Centre for the non-implementation of the Bargarh-Nupada rail line project, '' he said.
''I am throwing an open challenge to Odisha government that if it provides land for the rail line tomorrow, we will start work the very next day,'' he asserted.
The Narendra Modi government had been pumping in funds to strengthen the railway infrastructure in Odisha, he said.
''While the previous UPA government had allotted Rs 800 crore in annual budget for railway development in Odisha, PM Modi enhanced it to Rs 10,000 crore,'' he noted.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJD rejected the allegations made by the two Union ministers. ''It is the BJP that is peddling lies, having realised that its candidate is losing the Padampur by-poll,'' said BJD leader Sarad Nayak.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)