Pradeep Pattanayak

In a veiled attack on the 5T secretary, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Pattanayak on Friday said that the officers are ruling the state now but it will no longer continue. 

The OPCC chief said this on the sidelines of a demonstration being staged by the party in front of the Niali block office.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are united. But our party will form the government in the centre and our strength will increase from 9 to 90 in the state,” Pattanayak said. 

“Odisha is number one in atrocities against women but Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been keeping mum.  He has announced Rs 50 lakh for each panchayat. But the panchayats are yet to receive their share. The blocks are still devoid of cold storage facilities. In his long tenure of 25 years, he could have built cold storage in each of the 314 blocks for the benefit of our farmers. A resolution has been passed to hike the minimum support price (MSP) to Rs 2930 but why he (CM Naveen Patnaik) is not mounting any pressure on the centre in this regard,” he added. 

“Whenever election approaches, they (the BJD) pass the buck to the centre, saying it is the centre’s negligence. Whenever any election is around the corner, several yojanas like KALIA and PITHA are announced and once the election is over, the yojanas are thrown into the cold storage,” he further said. 

Odisha Congress Campaign Committee chairman, Bijay Patnaik said, “During the BJD rule, poverty has increased. When we compare with the neghbouring states, we can understand where we are.”

No comments have been received from the ruling BJD.

The Congress gheraoed all the 314 block offices across the state, demanding fulfillment of the party’s nine-point charter of demands. 

The grand old party’s demands include the abolition of corrupt percentage commission (PC) practice prevalent in government projects, uninterrupted power supply, reduction in electricity tariffs, jobs to unemployed youths and abolishment of 'katni chhatni' during paddy procurement. 

The party also demanded regulation of prices of essential commodities, proper prices for farmers’ produces and houses to eligible beneficiaries under the PM Awas Yojana.

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