scorecardresearch
Rahul calls Naveen 'autocratic', a 'Modi version' in Odisha

Rahul calls Naveen 'autocratic', a 'Modi version' in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Jan 25 (PTI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi Friday termed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as a "version of Narendra Modi" in Odisha and branded both leaders as "autocratic" against whom his party was fighting. "We are fighting against Modi in the national level and a Modi-version in Odisha," he said at an interactive programme here. Gandhi drew a parallel between Modi and Patnaik and said the Gujarat model and the Odisha model of governance run on the same lines. "But I must say one thing with respect to Mr Naveen Patnaik -- he is autocratic, he has centralised power but he is yet to become like Narendra Modi," he said. Alleging that there is a connection between Modi and Patnaik, Gandhi said, "Mr Modi has leverage over Mr Patnaik. You know why - because of corruption cases." He said, "Mr Naveen Patnaik supports Mr Narendra Modi throughout, whether it is GST, note-bandi, or in Parliament in different bills." Asked about his targets, Gandhi said at the national level it is to give voice to the people of India and in Odisha it is to give voice to the people of the state. "My target is to take Odisha out of one-man bureaucratic regime and hand it to the people of Odisha," he said at the interaction held before a Congress rally at Tamando on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, which he addressed. Continuing to draw parallels, Gandhi said, "The Gujarat and the Odisha model run on the same lines. Industrialists of the state fund the marketing of the CM and the CM hands over power of the state to bureaucrats. We don't want a bureaucratic dictatorship. We want a democratic state." The only difference between Modi and Patnaik is that while the prime minister "is filled with hate", the chief minister is not, he said. Gandhi claimed that Modi and Patnaik have a "tacit understanding" between them and alluded to a host of legislations where the BJD had bailed out the Modi government. Gandhi's programme here coincided with the launch of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA) scheme for small, marginal and landless farmers by the chief minister. Slamming the BJD government over the farmer issue, Gandhi wondered why the chief minister had failed to think of the farmers' plight during the past 18 years, only to wake up before the elections. Patnaik, he alleged, does not believe in running the government with people's participation nor is he open to criticism and conversation. Asked to comment on the Congress being out of power in Odisha for the last two decades, Gandhi said it will be rejuvenated under the new leadership in the state. The party was not working as a team earlier, but since the new state and central teams are now in place things have changed and the party is fully united, he asserted. PTI AAM SKN KK SMNSMN