PM Modi's Rural Power Pledge Politically Pooh-Poohed In Odisha

30 April 2018

Tapan Das

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Bhubaneswar: Even though the print media on Monday (April 30) was replete with a full-page advertisement by Ministry of Power carrying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture with rural populace in the background and claiming “Pledge Stands Redeemed” as well as “We promised to electrify all remaining villages within 1000 days” under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, Opposition Congress here in Odisha took a pot shot at it. Even the State Government clarified that all census villages have been electrified while the left out villages and hamlets will be completed soon.

The advertisement also pronounced, “We now aim to electrify every home. ‘New India Roshan India’. Villages identified by State Governments have been electrified overcoming obstacles, defying odds, achieving goals.” Also on April 23, PM Modi has tweeted on his official twitter handle PMO India:

In his media reactions, Odisha Energy Minister Sushant Singh said, “As per the report available with us, the left out census villages have been completely electrified. Some hamlets and villages are yet to be.”

“17 lakh families are yet to be supplied with electricity facility. It includes 9 lakh BPL and 8 lakh BPLs. Hon’ble Chief Minister has directed us to provide those each household with electricity by September. As per our Odisha report, all census villages have been completely supplied with electricity. Hamlets and some villages have been left out. Work on progress, will be completed soon,” the Odisha Energy Minister told media.

But, senior Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi lampooned, “If PM Modi keeps such statement, it’s extremely unfortunate. Let him come to tribal-dominated Sundargarh district represented by BJP MP and Union Tribal Affairs Minister. Let the Prime Minister come over particularly to my assembly constituency of Talsara. There are glaring examples of Kiralaga Panchayat, Talsara Panchayat, Lulkidihi Panchayat and many more. The Prime Minister should make spot visit personally and well realize how rural electrification is 100% as claimed by him today.”

“Whatever they (BJP) are claiming is not based on truth and thus very sad to note. The claimed 100% electrification achievement will take much more time. Lots of places are there where even electric pillars have not been provided let alone other formalities. Even there are some villages and the hamlets where everything has been done, but power supply has taken around 4-6 months. Hence, PM Modi should keep all these harsh realities in mind and would issue such claims and statements,” the senior Congress MLA commented.

On the contrary, BJP MLA Rabi Narayan Naik defended, “The Prime Minister has put this statement basing on the reports of State Governments. Today, be it an APL or BPL beneficiary, any poor man is having access to electricity at home. The Prime Minister is trying to improve system. He has allocated adequate funds for all sectors, starting from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana to almost all Yojanas. All the requisite funds have been allocated to the State Governments. It all depends on the performance of the State Government so that we can claim if we are having access to electricity supply or not.”

“If the State Governments have not provided correct reports and data on electrification, it’s unfortunate. The Odisha Government is totally responsible for the power cuts today. Despite installation of transformers, villages are deprived of power supply. Depsite villages selected for the purpose, the electrification work has not yet been done. For this, the Odisha Government is completely responsible. As the Prime Minister has already allocated adequate funds for the purpose, he has issued such a statement,” the BJP MLA argued.

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Sushant Singh, Minister, Energy, Odisha

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Prafulla Majhi, MLA, Congress, Odisha

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Rabi Narayan Naik, MLA, BJP, Odisha