Rahul Gandhi in Cuttack

Rahul Gandhi kick-starts election campaign in Odisha, accuses Modi and Naveen of collusion

Bhubaneswar: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today made pointed accusations against both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Addressing a rally in Cuttack’s Salepur, Gandhi asserted that PM Modi’s administration in Delhi caters predominantly to the interests of billionaires, while Patnaik’s government in Odisha serves only a select few.

Gandhi further alleged that despite the apparent rivalry between the BJD and BJP in the electoral arena, they maintain a clandestine partnership.

“Whether you call it a partnership or a marriage, both the BJD and BJP are essentially in cahoots,” Gandhi remarked.

Directing his criticism towards Patnaik, Gandhi highlighted the influence of VK Pandian, an aide to the Chief Minister, insinuating that the state government operates under Pandian’s directives rather than Patnaik’s leadership.

In a thinly veiled swipe at PM Modi, Gandhi claimed, “Uncle-ji and Naveen-babu have conspired to exploit Odisha, symbolized by PAANN—Pandian, Amit Shah, Narendra Modi, Naveen Patnaik—thus plundering the state’s resources.”

Launching the Congress campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, Gandhi reiterated his stance that despite their apparent rivalry, the BJD and BJP collaborate behind the scenes.

Furthermore, Gandhi outlined the Congress party’s promises for Odisha, including monthly financial assistance of Rs 2000 for women, Rs 3000 for unemployed youth, 200 units of free electricity, and Rs 3000 per quintal for paddy procurement.