Pradeep Pattanayak

If the letter of the Planning and Coordination department is any indication, like before the 2019 general election, the BJD dispensation may roll out some attractive schemes to woo voters before the 2024 general election. 

The ruling BJD party, which has virtually blown its poll beagle at its foundation day celebration recently held in Puri, has started its preparations on the government level as well. 

All the departments have been directed to prepare a blueprint for the period of 14 months, starting from now till the election. From the note sheet of the Planning and Coordination department, it can well be surmised that the departments have been asked to take steps to ensure people should receive maximum benefits from the projects and schemes. 

“Since general election is going to be held in 2024, the Chief Secretary will chair a meeting in the first week of January to review why several projects are lying uncompleted. This is why the department has sought information from other departments regarding the present status of the different projects,” said Minister of State for Planning and Coordination, Rajendra Dholakia. 

On the other hand, the Planning and Coordination department’s letter has heated up the political climate in the State.
The government had launched a slew of schemes and yojanas like KALIA, PEETHA, Biju Yuva Vahini and Ama Gaon Ama Bikash before the 2019 general election. 

And it has been discussed that the party is counting on its old trick this time as well. It has also been discussed that the party is repeating its old trick because the wind is no longer blowing in its favour. 

The State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said, “People have already understood how the government had launched several schemes at the time of the last election and later stopped them. So the people would no longer bite the baits.”

At the same time, Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja said their party will form the government this time.  “No matter how many schemes the government may roll out, people will vote against it. The odds are against the government and the Congress will definitely form the government,” he said. 

Government Chief Whip Prashant Kumar Muduli termed the speculations as baseless. “Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has never kept election in view while announcing schemes and yojanas. They are assuming it otherwise and this is the reason why they have been biting the dust,” said Muduli.

(Reported by Mayadhar Saraf from Nuapara and Harihara Chand from Bhubaneswar, OTV)