Mrunal Manmay Dash

Launching a scathing attack on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-led Odisha government, the Congress party on Thursday asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to apologise for allegedly spending taxpayers’ money on promotional works of his party.

Terming the practice unethical, the Congress party further said CM Naveen should either apologise before the people of Odisha or return the money spent on promotion to the State exchequer.

Addressing a press conference, Congress media cell chairman Biswaranjan Mohanty said, “The state government is spending crores of rupees from the government treasury on party propaganda. We term it unethical.”

“We want to ask the government what is the underlying purpose of these schemes being launched by the government almost every day. Who benefits from it? Do not give the people of Odisha lollipops by announcing these schemes. These are meant only for party propaganda and to mislead voters into voting them again,” Mohanty added.

The attack on the government came after the Election Commission of India (ECI) sought clarification from the Odisha government and the BJD for displaying the party symbol conch through various government-sponsored advertisements.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also took a dig at the BJD.

“Since the ECI has the power, we have also appealed to withdraw and cancel the conch symbol on the grounds that it is being immensely misused,” said BJP state vice president, Jatin Mohanty.

“We have also appealed before the Orissa High Court to take the total money so far spent on this from its party fund and deposit the same in the government treasury,” he added.