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BJD set to slam Centre on Mahanadi, Polavaram, paddy support price issues




 Mahanadi, Polavaram and Special Category State status will dominate the ruling Biju Janata Dal’s Foundation Day programme in Puri tomorrow even as the opposition criticised the State government for “failure on fronts’.

The function is being held in the Holy City where Brahmins are up in arms against senior party leader Dr Damodar Rout who was recently axed from the council of Ministers and stripped of party posts in the wake of alleged casteist remarks against Brahmins.

The BJD’s mega preparations for its 20th foundation day are on in full swing with the party leaders leaving no stone unturned to make the event a great success.

The venue at Talabania in Puri was given the final touches on Monday under the supervision of senior party leaders.

The ruling party is set to slam the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre over Mahanadi, Polavaram and minimum support price (MSP) issues and chalk out a road map for the upcoming 2019 elections.

“Mahanadi, Polavaram and Special Category State status to Odisha would be the main issues during the event,” claimed BJD’s general secretary, Sanjay Das Burma even as the opposition criticized the State government for its alleged failure on all fronts.

Dasburma told reporters, “We will chalk out the road map for the upcoming 2019 elections and try to expose the Centre’s apathy and step motherly behaviour towards the State.” he said.

BJD spokesperson and MP Pratap Deb said there will be a detailed discussion on the party’s achievements and challenges it has faced in the last two decades along with the lessons it has learnt till date.

“We will also focus on our vision and plans for the future,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already written to all the district, block and town presidents of the party across the State to join the convention and are likely to take a oath to participate in the party’s mission for the development of the State.

The function is being held in the backdrop of sacking of Dr Damodar Rout from the Cabinet for his derogatory remark at a function in Malkangiri recently during which he had allegedly called Brahmins as ‘beggars’.

The Opposition BJP and the Congress today said the minorities and the poor in the state have suffered in the hands of the Naveen Patnaik government, an allegation that was denied by the ruling BJD .

The leaders of both the opposition parties hurled a volley of questions and sought explanations over various administrative matters from the BJD, which is set to celebrate its 20th foundation day tomorrow.

"Although the state government formed a corpus fund for chit-fund victims, none of them has received any money. When will they get back their money?" BJP state unit general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said at a press meet here.

Many ponzi scheme companies flourished under the patronage of the ruling party in the state, he alleged.

Harichandan also sought to know the time frame by which the ruling party would dole out compensation to the family members of farmers, who have committed suicide due to crop loss and debt burden.

He also asked for an explanation from the government for the delay in implementation of agriculture commission's recommendations and demanded action against leaders and officials responsible for distribution of fake seeds and pesticides among farmers.

Stating that the health sector in the state was in a shambles, Harichandan said a large number of posts of doctors and other staff is lying vacant in government hospitals.

Despite being endowed with vast coal reserves, many parts of Odisha are still languishing in darkness, the BJP leader said, adding that a whopping 36 lakh houses in the state are devoid of electricity supply due to inefficiency on the part of the Naveen Patnaik government.

Slamming the BJD regime on similar lines, senior Congress leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena said unemployment has assumed alarming proportions in the state.

The chief minister should tell people the number of jobs his government has created since the BJD came to power in 2000, Jena said.

Claiming that over 40 lakh unemployed youths are on the verge of migrating to other states in search of jobs, Jena said the Odisha government has failed to ensure social and economic justice in the state.

The Congress leader also held the BJD regime responsible for the plight of farmers, many of whom were forced to end their lives due to crop loss.

The state government has failed to speed up industrialisation, he claimed adding due to its misrule the economy of the state was in doldrums.

BJD spokesperson Prashant Nanda, however, refuted the charges levelled by the BJP and the Congress and said the opposition parties are wary of the rising popularity of the ruling party.

The BJD, which is going to celebrate its 20th Foundation Day tomorrow, is all set to storm into power for the 5th time in a row in 2019, he added.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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