Cassian Baliarsingh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday came down heavily on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over his marathon tour on Panchayati Raj Diwas, and termed it a political gimmick and calculated move to whitewash his image after health minister Naba Das’ murder.

“This is just a show-off. CM’s tour to western Odisha is a blatant attempt to clean his image after the brutal murder of Naba Das. The CM, who is known for PC Raj, liquor sales, bungling of funds under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and severe irregularities in paddy procurement centers, is now trying to whitewash his image by inaugurating the Biju Expressway,” said Kalahandi MP Basanta Panda.

“The Biju Expressway was constructed with the help of the Centre’s fund under the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund. However, not even a single minister from the Centre has been invited to the Biju Expressway inauguration. People of Kalahandi and western Odisha will rightfully show him his proper place,” the senior BJP leader added.

On Biju Babu’s birth anniversary, today, CM Naveen Patnaik is scheduled for a marathon tour to three districts in western Odisha. He will also open the much-awaited Biju Expressway for the public and join a road show soon after.

The CM is also scheduled to attend at least eight programs including five in Bhubaneswar. He will offer floral tributes to his father and the legendary Biju Patnaik at the Biju Patnaik Park and also join the inauguration ceremony of the iconic Dakota, the plane of Biju Babu. 

Later, he is scheduled to tour Nuapada, Kalahandi and Bargarh districts. He is expected to visit Bargarh’s Sohela, Kalahandi’s Junagarh and Ambapani, and Nuapada districts today, reports said.

Meanwhile, the BJP will observe the day (Panchayati Raj Diwas) as ‘Bhrastachar Diwas’ (Corruption Day) alleging widespread corruption in the State. Reportedly, the party workers will observe it in 314 blocks across Odisha by wearing black badges on their arms.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and MLA Pradipta Kumar Naik tore apart the BJD supremo for his 'inefficiency' in governance and heaped him with several questions ahead of his journey to Kalahandi to inaugurate the Biju Expressway.

His tweet read, “Dear Naveen Patnaik, do you remember that the Hon’ble High Court on May 1 had directed you to submit a white paper highlighting the deteriorating health condition of the district?”

“Well, maybe you are not aware, so, I am giving you some information that you don't know about. In the last Disha Committee meeting, the District Health Officer informed that there are only 166 doctors in the district out of 404 recognized posts. The remaining 238 doctor posts are lying vacant. Similarly, out of 55 recognized Ayush doctor posts, there are only 26 doctors with 29 doctor posts lying vacant.”

“There is 160 out of 253 recognized staff nurse posts and 93 staff posts are vacant. Out of 107 specialist posts, there are only 37 with another 70 vacant positions. There are no doctors in hospitals, there are no teachers in schools, then what is the best CM doing in the government for 23 years?

“Is this your love for Kalahandi district? Do you have the audacity to announce when the posts of doctors, teachers and other vacancies will be filled during today's visit to Kalahandi?” he tweeted.


(Reported by Rajkumar Singhdeo, OTV)