Himansu Shekhar Rout

Puri, the pilgrim city of Odisha, featured prominently in the Sankalp Patra of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Sankalp Patra promises the opening of the Ratna Bhandar for an inventory, tracing the missing Ratha Bhandar key through an investigation, and opening of all the four gates of Srimandir for devotees. 

Besides, the party has promised compensation for the mutts evicted during the Puri Parikarma project and their re-establishment. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was all praise for these issues which brought solace for the devotees of Lord Jagannath.

'Sankalp Patra based on people's suggestions'

Samir Mohanty, the chief of the Sankalp Patra Committee, said, "People had made written suggestions for opening of the Ratna Bhandar and the four gates of Srimandir. We placed these issues in our Sankalp Patra. We have committed to fulfil these demands.”   

Congress had earlier released its manifesto, but the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is yet to announce its own. Voters and opposition parties are waiting for the promises from the ruling party.        

Ratna Bhandar looted through heist: Congress

Congress leader Uma Ballav Rath claimed, “The Ratna Bhandar was looted through a heist. The BJP’s Sankalp Patra is a hoax. The BJP and BJD are the party of businessmen.”

Law Minister Jagannath Saraka said, "The opening of the four dwars has always been in the discussion and is in the mind of the government.”  

Countering the Mission Shakti

To counter the BJD’s Mission Shakti, the BJP has promised to create 25 lakh 'Lakhpati Didis' by 2027 with industrial clusters for every 500 SHGs to facilitate product marketing and promotion.

Under the Subhadra Yojana, every woman will be given a cash voucher of Rs 50,000 which can be encashed over two years.

Moreover, the BJP has assured paddy procurement at Rs 3,100 per quintal with a provision of electronic weighing machine and elimination of katni-chatni under the Samrudh Krushak Niti.  

It has also promised the creation of over 3.5 lakh jobs by 2029 and the provision of a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month to all elderly, divyangs, widows and the destitute in Odisha under the Mukhyamantri Sahayata Yojana. The elderly above 80 years and divyangs with 80 per cent disability will get Rs 3,500.  

Congress in its manifesto has promised loan waiver of SHGs, a monthly allowance of Rs 2000 to a woman of a family, Rs 2 lakh financial assistance for the marriage of daughters from families with annual income less than Rs 2 lakh and the creation of 5 lakh jobs. 
'Manifesto is not everything for voters'

However, senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said that manifesto is not everything.
“People cannot be attracted by manifestos only. Manifestos are on one side while ideologies and principles, leadership and style of functioning of the parties are on the other side. All the parties will vie to bridge the gap between manifestoes and realities,” he observed.

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