Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The BJD has already started working on its campaign strategy ahead of the upcoming 2024 General Elections. A host of actors, comedians and singers of the Odia film industry reportedly met Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik and 5T chairman VK Pandian at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

However, Opposition BJP slammed the ruling party while reacting to the development. BJP leader and Ollywood actress Pinky Pradhan said that as all the big celebrities like Anubhav Mohanty, Sidhant Mohapatra and Arindam Roy have deserted BJD, the ruling party is afraid of defeat in the upcoming election. 

According to Pinky, with almost no star campaigners left in the party now, BJD is planning to rope in the existing young stars to pull crowds during its poll campaigns.

“Earlier, BJD was saying that CM Naveen Patnaik was their only star campaigner. But they are now planning to rope in other Ollywood stars for poll campaigning. The party is only concerned about use and throw of the artists. BJD government has done nothing for the welfare of the artists. Ollywood industry has seen a downward curve during BJD’s governance in the State,” alleged Pinky.

“While the artists are getting monthly allowances of Rs 4,500 in other States, they are getting a meager amount of Rs 2,000 in Odisha. When the artists were going through a tough time during Covid-19, Naveen Patnaik government did not provide any kind of help to them. On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended cooperation and helping hands towards the artists during their hard days,” she further claimed.

“Has CM Naveen Patnaik ever watched an Odia movie? He is trying to divide the artists on the basis of party politics. If he has real sympathy for the artists, he should take steps for the development of Odia movie industry. Many cinema halls in the State have been closed. The economic conditions of the artists in the State have become so much miserable that, BJD is using them in its poll campaign by providing them money. What the Naveen Patnaik government has done for the folk artistes in the State so far?” Pinky asked.

Also Read | Is mining lobby influencing BJD tickets in Odisha?

No reaction from the BJD could be obtained over the allegations of the BJP.