Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur Tuesday claimed that BJP is pro-poor and its government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pulled more than18.5 crore people in the country from below the poverty line. The people of the country believe in Modi and his policies, Thakur said replying to a question relating to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik allegedly calling opposition parties in the state – the BJP and Congress ‘anti-people’ and ‘anti-development.’ He along with his cabinet colleague Dharmendra Pradhan claimed that Modi’s present popularity is above 78 per cent that he is the most popular leader not only in the country, but across the world.
”We are a pro-people and pro-poor government. When we are in the Opposition, we raise issues related to the interest of the peoples and when in government we work for the uplift of the people. That is the reason why 18.5 crore people were pulled out of below poverty line. This ws achieved within nine years of the Modi government compared to 70 years of previous governments,” Thakur told reporters here. ”When the motto of BJP is ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, how can the party be anti-people and anti-development,” he asked adding Modi never called any person is anti-people or anti-development. One can become anti-government, but not anti-people,” Thakur asserted. Asked whether the BJP will give walkover to BJD in the 2024 election in Odisha in the wake of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s open praise for Patnaik, the central minister said BJP will fight the next election with full vigor and perform very well like it is doing in the rest of the country, he said “BJP always fought elections on the strength of the party workers and came out with good results”.
To queries whether the Centre will take action against the BJD government similar to that against the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, Thakur said the Odisha government was issued a notice in respect to implementation of the PMAY (G). “If the state has not taken any action, then fresh notice will be issued to the Odisha government. The I&B Minister said that Odisha has got more funds under NDA than under the erstwhile UPA. “Due to Modi government’s mining policy Odisha’s revenue has jumped 10 times from Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 50,000 crore” as the Centre has pumped huge funds for the development of railways and road connectivity in Odisha.
The Centre has withheld the dues of West Bengal in respect of MNREGA and the PM Awas Yojana. The TMC has blamed that the Centre of withholding Rs 15,000 crore due to West Bengal for the two schemes.
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Thakur urged the Odisha government to ensure speedy implementation of ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ to bring in a change in the lives of women in the state. “Central schemes of the Modi government are always in the interest of the poor people, specially women, of the country. I urge the Odisha government to ensure speedy implementation of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ to bring a change in the lives of women in the State”.
He highlighted achievements like providing 12 crore toilets, the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and the passage of passing of Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam ( Women’s Reservation Bill ).
Replying a question on the caste census in Bihar, Thakur said it is difficult to comment on it as he has not gone through the report in detail. He highlighted the success of the G20 summit, and said India will receive huge investment following the materialisation of the proposed trade route of India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor and the project would help establish direct contacts between India and a lot of countries.
Earlier, upon his arrival Thakur was given a rousing welcome at the airport. The minister during an interaction with reporters said he shares an emotional connect with Odisha and recalled his trip to Cuttack as the captain of Punjab’s under-16 cricket team in 1990.
Modi chose a wall depicting the historic Konark Wheel of Sun Temple as the backdrop for his welcome handshake with world leaders at the G20 Summit venue, creating a buzz for Odisha.