Padampur Bypoll: Ashwini Vaishnaw Throws Open Challenge To Odisha Govt; Know What

OB Bureau

Bargarh: Campaigning in Padampur Assembly constituency in Odisha heated up on Sunday with two Union Ministers – Ashwini Vaishnaw and Narendra Singh Tomar – taking to the podium at a public meeting at Paikamal here.

As expected, the Railway Minister raked up Bargarh-Nuapada new rail line via Padampur, which has become a flashpoint ahead of the December 5 bypoll, and threw an open challenge to the Naveen Patnaik-led government in the state, which had accused the Centre of neglecting the people’s demand for improving the connectivity there.

“This is my open challenge to the Odisha government. Provide land tomorrow, we will start work on the line the day after,” he said while seeking votes for BJP candidate Pradip Purohit.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to development of the state. “Under the Congress regime, Odisha had received Rs 5 crore for improving railway connectivity and infrastructure in the state. PM Modi ensure a substantial hike in the budget and the state received the highest ever allocation of Rs 10,000 crore in the Union Budget 2022-23,” he said.

The Railway Minister said that the state needs to support the efforts of the Centre. “The Centre will pressurise the government to provide land for Bargarh-Nuapada new rail line via Padampur and accordingly, the project will be taken up,” he added.

Vaishnaw, who also holds the Communications, Electronics & Information Technology portfolio, further said that the Centre has allocated Rs 5,600 crore for installing mobile towers in Odisha. “If the Odisha government had the policy and will, then people from the state did not have to go outside the state in search of work. To ensure development, it is, therefore, important to vote for the BJP,” he added.

On November 21, Commerce and Transport minister Tukuni Sahu wrote to railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to reconsider the project, triggering yet another talking point in the run-up to the bypoll. The move came after the two parties clashed over the issue of crop insurance for farmers.

While replying to her letter, Vaishnaw had put the ball in the state’s court. He said that the Centre had accorded in-principle approval to the project and Odisha Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL), a joint venture of the state government, was informed about the same on December 31, 2021.

“To take the project forward, ORIDL has to conduct a survey, prepare a blueprint and acquire land for the purpose. Therefore, I would request the state government to expedite the survey and land acquisition process,” Vaishaw said in the letter to Sahu written in Odia language.


OB Bureau

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