Pradeep Pattanayak

The state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday raised questions over the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) using its party symbol 'conch' in the government advertisements of 'Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha' scheme. 

Accusing the BJD of doing this to woo voters and increase its vote bank, Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi said, “We will oppose the use of party symbol in government advertisements. We will also challenge it in that court so that it will be quashed. Another thing I want to point out is that no guideline is being followed in advertisements. Since the fear of losing the election has gripped the ruling party, they are using the conch symbol in advertisement.”

Echoing the same, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jayanarayan Mishra said, “These things come to their mind when any election is around the corner.  Of the total cost of Rs 4,000 crore sanctioned for ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ scheme, 50 percent would go towards PC.”

Similarly, the BJP’s Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said, “After ruling for 23 years, the programmes of the BJD are nothing but like old wine in new bottle. I would like to term them as ridiculous. Such activities were accepted during the initial years. It seems to me that people are no longer with the BJD. They don’t have any interest in the party’s activities. They (the BJD) are trying to do something new, to do something innovative and show something different. But what would they show? What should I say about the ideology of the party whose chief doesn’t want to wear his party’s badge and scarf?”

OPCC chief Sarat Pattanayak said, “The matter is sub-judice over some issue and October 12 has been fixed for its hearing. In spite of this, why the government was in a hurry to give an advertisement with a picture of conch? We have taken the matter up with the Governor.” 

On the other hand, Higher Education Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, “Conch is a symbol of sanctity. Ask them (the BJP) what they are calling the Jan Aushadhi scheme. There is no question of branding the party. The programme is being carried out for the people. We are going to the people, but they can’t. So they are going to court.”

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’. 

The scheme was launched through virtual mode in Keonjhar and Bhadrak districts in the first phase. The objective of the scheme is to promote Jagannath culture and strengthen digital infrastructure in gram panchayats and villages. The government will implement as many as 90,723 projects with an allocation of Rs 3,397 crore.

Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced several projects by implementing Ama Gaon Ama Bikas prior to 2019 elections.

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  • HARIHARA CHAND
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