Vikash Sharma

Lower PMG turned into a battlefield on Monday as scores of Congress workers tried to gherao Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar as part of their strategy to corner Odisha government by bringing several allegations ahead of the crucial 2024 elections.

Though the Congress activists, leaders led by Odisha Pradesh Congress President Sarat Pattanayak and senior leaders managed to break the initial security cordon, they entered into a scuffle with security personnel when they tried to break other cordons.

Senior party leaders said that the Congress is forced to hit the streets for the poor, farmers and women who are oppressed.

Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “Over 15 lakh from one district have migrated outside in search of work and the Odisha government has failed to stop this. The state government has failed to provide jobs to youths. Prices of petrol, diesel and gas have increased. Both the BJP at the Centre and the BJD government here are exploiting people. Farmers are not able to sell their produce and falling victim to ‘Katni Chatni’.”

Congress MLA Mohammad Moquim said, “In no way, the dictatorship of Odisha government will not be tolerated. The way police is attacking youths, Congress will intensify its agitation.”

Odisha PCC President Sarat Pattanayak said, “The Congress will hit the streets and we urge people to dethrone the government- both the BJD and the BJP as they are dipped in corruption and there is no control over inflation. The fight will continue.”

Earlier, the Congress leaders took out a massive rally from Congress Bhawan. Scores of leaders from several districts attended the rally which was organised to target Odisha government over several issues including corruption, rising unemployment, labour migration and other civic amenities 'which are still a distant dream for people of the state under the BJD rule'.

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