Pradeep Pattanayak

With the pictures of tension emerging from college campuses from across the state, it is being argued that the BJD government’s ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha’ programme will do more harm than good to the party.  

At MPC Autonomous College in Mayurbhanj’s Baripada, students locked the main gate of the college, protesting against the college authority organising programmes under ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha’ involving some particular students. 

This is not the single college where tension is simmering over ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha’. 

Also Read: BJP, Congress target BJD over ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha Yojana'

The same picture also emerged from Fakir Mohan Autonomous College in Balasore. The college authorities have taken up several programmes under ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha’. But the college campus is dotted with BJD posters and banners, and BJD leaders are attending the events. 

Because of such tensions, it is alleged that the BJD government has sown the seed of disturbance on the college campuses through its programme. 

“With the campus being dotted with the posters and banners of the BJD, our college looks more like Naveen Patnaik’s party office than an educational institution,” alleged Subha Sambit Nayak, a student of FM Autonomous College, Balasore. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Sunday took a swipe at the BJD government alleging that it has launched ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha’ with an intention to woo young voters.

“Events are being organised with BJD’s banners and posters. The youths are being misguided. Public money is being misused to use youths in political campaigns,” alleged BJP MP, Pratap Sarangi. 

Congress leader Adhiraj Panigrahi said, “If it is a government programme, leaders of all parties should be invited. Instead of that, leaders of a specific political party are being invited to the programmes. From this, one can easily understand in which direction the students are being driven. Trying to woo young voters by misguiding them is very unfortunate.”

While responding to the statements of the BJP and the Congress leaders, Higher Education Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, “It is not in any way linked to politics. The programmes are meant for students. Money is being provided to the principals. The colleges are organising the programmes.”

Under ‘Yuva Odisha Nabin Odisha’ programme, each college has been given a fund of Rs 9 lakh. With this money, the colleges are organising sports and cultural programmes. It started on November 15, and such activities will reportedly continue till December 31.

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