Himansu Shekhar Rout

As the BJD’s party symbol 'conch' is increasingly found in the new schemes being launched by the Odisha government, major opposition parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress upped their ante against the government. As the election is drawing closer, the opposition parties sharpened their attack on the government, accusing it of using the BJD’s symbol in the government schemes only for the party’s publicity.

The latest scheme with the conch symbol is 'Ama Bank'  which was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

The conch symbol has allegedly been used in Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha and the schemes meant for colleges. However, the opposition attack on this count cut no ice with the government.   

The BJP had earlier apprised the Election Commission of India about the use of the 'conch' symbol in many schemes while a Congress delegation had met the Governor over the issue. Both parties alleged that the BJD has been trying to take as much political mileage as possible from the government schemes by showcasing the conch symbol.

BJP legislator Suryavanshi Suraj took a sharp dig at the government on his social media handle on Tuesday for using the conch symbol in the Ama Bank scheme.

“In the name of Ama Bank, the Odisha government has been trying to hijack various financial inclusion schemes of the Central government as well as the ongoing service expansion programmes by the PSU banks. The Naveen Patnaik government usually takes credit for doing hospitality by serving the borrowed curries from others,” he observed in a post on his X handle hours after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the Ama Bank scheme on Tuesday. 

The young legislator also alleged that keeping the election in view, the BJD is trying to hoodwink people. “The scheme will meet the same fate as Peetha and Biju Yuba Bahini. The people of Odisha have understood what the state government is doing,” he added. 

Congress MLA Sura Routray lashed out at the government, saying, "You will see conch in everything and everywhere – bet it dance programmes, songs, schools and colleges. All this will not work this time. The conch will break into pieces and be reduced to a shell. The boat of the BJD is going to sink.”  

However, the BJD made a counterattack on the opposition. BJD leader Prashanta Muduli said, “The conch is only visible to the opposition, but they do not see good things or their own problems. They would get benefits if they look at their own problems.”

Also Read: BJP, Cong lash out at BJD for use of party symbol in govt programmes

According to a Supreme Court ruling, no party symbols will be used in any advertisement of government-sponsored programmes. The order said that it is the responsibility of the government to safeguard the trust and confidence in the integrity and impartiality of public services.

However, political analysts said that the government trying to give publicity to any party is in violation of laws, but whichever party is in power usually tries to take mileage this way.

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “The ruling parties, be at the centre or the state, are taking advantage of the schemes for their own publicity. This is against the law.”

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  • JAGDISH DAS , BIBARTAN PANDA , Partha Sarathi nayak
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