Bhubaneswar, The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha on Sunday said it would oppose the land acquisition bill proposed by the Center during the monsoon session of parliament beginning from Tuesday.
The party said it would also raise the issue of South Korean steel major Posco, which has been asked to compete in the mine licence auction to get an iron ore mine to feed its proposed $12 billion steel project in the Jagatsinghpur district.
The BJD decision came after a parliamentary board meeting held at the residence of party chief Naveen Patnaik here on Sunday to discuss the strategies on several issues during the coming monsoon session of parliament.
“We will reiterate our demand for inclusion of land-owners as stakeholders in the proposed project that would come up on their land. We will also seek an amendment to the land acquisition bill for inclusion of this demand,” said BJD parliamentarian Bhartruhari Mahtab.
On the Posco project, Mahtab said it would be raised before the Centre for a favourable nod as Odisha was open to more investment and industrialisation. “The Centre has not extended its expected support on the Posco issue,” Mahtab said.
Kendrapada parliamentarian Baijayant Panda said the party would raise in parliament the issues affecting the state. He said the central government’s decision to slash funds on some schemes and abolish some others would be raised in the coming session of parliament.
The BJD has 27 parliamentarians, including 20 in the Lok Sabha.
Pime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked previous governments at the Centre for ruling the country like their “Sultanates”, neglecting its rich heritage.
“Past governments ruled like Sultans and neglected our rich heritage. They ignored our glorious civilisation and failed to pay attention to their preservation,” said Modi while addressing a public meeting in Balangir town in Odisha.
“This criminal error will always stick to the parties, who the country gave the opportunity to run governments for decades. Surprisingly, they have not taken lessons from this,” he added.
He also attacked the state government under Naveen Patnaik and said the benefits meant for the people should reach them on time and must not be used as an election tool.
This was Modi’s third visit to the state in the past three weeks and showed the importance that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was attaching to the state ahead of the general and assembly elections.
The Prime Minister said his government was committed to conserving and preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage.
He said his government has been constantly making efforts to bring back the idols stolen from the temples in India.
He also attacked the parties for opposing the International Yoga Day and the construction of the Statue of Unity.
“Some parties were against organising the International Yoga Day. These are the people who did not promote yoga. These people neither understand India nor tourism,” he added.
“They raised questions on erecting the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. But, after becoming the world’s tallest statue, it has generated jobs for people residing around the structure.
“They were also against changing the names of islands in Andaman and Nicobar islands,” said Modi.
He said the central government has cancelled around six crore fake ration cards, gas connections, scholarships with wrong names, grabbing pension under wrong names over the last four years.
“We plugged these leakages, saving crores of rupees. All ration cards have been digitised and around 80 per cent of them have been linked with Aadhaar,” said the Prime Minister.
“The middlemen used to loot the money meant for poor. We have stopped this. We ensured everyone gets what they deserve,” he added.
The Prime Minister said there are people, who are angry because he has put a stop to their loot and corruption.
Highlighting the developmental works being carried out by the Centre in the state, he attacked the Odisha government for failing to utilise the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund in the mineral bearing areas.
“Odisha has Rs 4,000 crore in its DMF Fund which has remained unutilised so far. What has happened to the government? It is in deep slumber. The government of Odisha should ensure that the benefits reach the tribal people.
“Do not wait for the elections. Ease the problems of people, elections will keep coming,” said Modi.
He said the central government has allocated over Rs 20,000 crore for the development of Railways in Odisha in the last four years alone, which is five times more than the allocation by the previous government.
In a month, development projects worth more than Rs 20,000 crore have been either inaugurated or initiated in Odisha, said Modi. (IANS)