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Media

Speeches

Speech at Bhuwaneshwar, Orissa

Well, as I said earlier, there's a big disconnect in Orissa, particularly amongst certain regions. So certain regions are left on their own in a sense. There is also a disconnect amongst certain communities, so certain communities are left on their own; they are not supported by the government. So that was my main takeaway- that there is a lot that can be done here, but one needs to look at it holistically.  

The other thing I sense about Orissa, is that a lot of the development work is relatively ad hoc. You do something here, you do something else there, and you do something else there. To me, it seems that there is a lack of a coherent strategy. As I said earlier, Orissa has a lot of natural resources- it is one of the richest states with regard to natural resources. The way those natural resources are being used, to me, could be improved significantly.  

Well, I'm not the state government of Orissa. So that poses a relatively big problem, because even though the central government can support Orissa, and it does support Orissa- through various programs, through funding; In large ways, the distribution of that funding, the implementation of those programs is upto the government in Orissa. so that is the significant problem in actually addressing the issues of Orissa. I will, however, have a lot to say to the people in the central governmnet about my views about what is happening here, and how the central government can help in Orissa. 

Well, first of all, the 'Bharat Darshan' is a phrase that has been coined by my friends in the media, not by myself. To me, the Orissa tour and all such other tours, are a journey in understanding and in getting close to people. I dont think the terminology that is being used in the media is the correct terminology; so "the discovery of India," to write,  I don't see it as that. For me, it is just learning, understanding, and conversing with the people of Orissa... It'll continue for the rest of my life. 

"Hamari belief ye hai, ki har ek hindustani ek hai- koi bada nahin hai, koi chhota nahin hai, sabse pehle hindustani hai. Aur agar har ek hindustani ek hai, to har ek hindustani hindustan ki sab jagah ja sakta hai. To ye hamari view hai, Congress party ki."(We believe in the oneness of all Indians- no one is big or small, but is first and foremost an Indian. And if all Indians are one, then every Indian can go to every place in India. So this is our view, the view of the Congress party.) 

We can sit around here and blame the British, blame the Congress, blame somebody else. I am not here to blame anybody. What I am trying to say here is that there are certain issues here that need to be resolved, whoever resloves them, ok. The state government today is in the best position to resolve those issues. I think there's a lot of work that has to be done here; There's a lot of the work that the state government has to do here; and there's a lot of work that the central government can help with. So I'm not here to say- "X Y Z is to blame for the situation," thats for other people to do. I'm here to try and see what the central government can do to help Orissa and urge the state government to do to do its bit as well.  

Well, already the money which is being given to the Orissa government from the Centre, they are unable to spend. So i don't think... unless they are unable to spend the money which is being given to them... like last year they were able to spend just 56% of the total Centre plan which was given to the Orissa government. So unless they are able to utilise the full allocated quota for Orissa government, then only they would be morally right to ask (for) something more. First they have to spend what has been given to them. The Central government can provide funds, The Central government can provide programs. The Orissa goverment has to deliver those funds, and has to deliver those programs. According to the Constitution, the Central government cannot,does not have jurisdiction in certain areas which the state government has.

 
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