09-feb-2014 (shri rahul gandhi)

Press Release
Cuttack & Bhubaneswar, Odisha
February 09, 2014

Odisha is a rich state, but the wealth from its natural resources does not reach the people: Shri Rahul Gandhi

Shri Rahul Gandhi on a two-day visit to Odisha, addresses a large public rally in Bhatapada, Cuttack.

Accuses the state government of diverting the wealth of the people into the hands of the mining mafia and a select few

Thousands of people throng the roads to meet Shri Rahul Gandhi

Addressing a large rally at Bhatapada, Cuttack, Congress Vice President, Shri Rahul Gandhi today charged the Odisha government ofrunning a government that is subservient to the interests of mining mafia and benefits only a select few in the state.He said, "Odisha is the richest state. It is rich in minerals and natural resources. There is no dearth of money. But the money doesn't reach you. It disappears in between. It is not utilized for the building of schools and hospitals or for people's development."

Dispelling the myth of neglect by the centre, he criticized the state for not using the funds allocated by the centre for people's welfare and development in the state. "They say the central government doesn't give them money. But the fact is that the money sent by the central government in the last five years, is the highest the state has ever received from the centre. They have not utilizedcentral funds," said Shri Rahul Gandhi.

Attacking the government's record he said 3700 farmers have been forced to commit suicide, over 10 lakhyouth are unemployed in the state, Rs 60,000 Crores have been embezzled in the mining scam, 20 lakh families have beenaffectedbythe chit fund scam and mid-day meal funds that are meant to feed young childrenare being misused.He added that one-third of Odisha's people live below the poverty line and the poor and the disadvantaged especially the Adivasis and Dalitsare being exploited in the state.

Shri Rahul Gandhi asked Congress workers to fight for the common man, the poor, the farmers, the women, minorities andtribal people, and win the battle by removing the ruling party's government in the state. Referring to the Right to Food, the Land Acquisition Bill, Right to Information and MNREGS, he said that the centralgovernment has sought to empower people through Rights. "We have fought the battle for Adivasi's, their rights and their land and we have given their land to them."

Shri Rahul Gandhi arrived in Bhubaneswar this morning and drove to Bhatpada ground, Cuttack. He stopped frequently to meet the thousands of people thronging the roadson the 50 km stretch from Bhubaneshwar to Bhatapada. Later in the evening, he returned to Bhubaneswar and interacted with representatives of minority groups who had gathered in in the capital city from all over the state. On the second day of his visit he is due to interact with students groups and Congress party workers.

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