Battleground western Odisha: BJD, BJP to woo farmers

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Bhubaneswar: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to attend the Krukshak Samavesh (farmers’ rally) in Bargarh on February 21 and chief minister Naveen Patnaik scheduled to visit Balangir and Kalahandi districts tomorrow, the political theatre has now shifted to Western Odisha with the ruling BJD and the BJP locked in a show of strength to woo the farmers.

Reports said on the eve of the visit of the chief minister, BJD has put up massive posters and hoardings of its party supremo in several places in Balangir and Kalahandi districts.

As per schedule, Patnaik will address a public meeting at Gudvela in Balangir and lay the foundation stone for a mega irrigation project.

Besides, the ruling party has made hectic preparations at Junagarh in Kalahandi district where the chief minister will address a public meeting. Efforts are on by the ruling party to bring as many farmers as possible to the meeting venue in these two districts.

However, the Congress has criticised the BJD for trying to make it a political programme.

“The ruling government has come forward to play politics with the money of the people. Had this been a government programme, all MLAs, MPs and government officials would have been officially invited. Leave alone invitation, I have no information about the visit of the chief minister,” senior Congress leader and leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra told OTV today.

However, Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo said the chief minister will come here with a package for the farmers of this region.

“People in thousands will attend the meeting and welcome the chief minister,” he added.

On the other hand, state BJP leaders have made elaborate preparations for the visit of the Prime Minister to Bargarh to attend the Krushak Samavesh.

To welcome the Prime Minister, the saffron party has put up huge posters and banners on both sides of the roads. While top leaders of the state are personally monitoring the work, Odisha pravari Arun Singh is interacting with the local farmers and inviting them to attend the Samavesh.

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