Pradeep Singh

Ahead of the Panchayat and Urban Local Body elections in the State, hoardings and billboards bearing special message of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are featuring across Bhubaneswar. Apart from government offices and important buildings, the hoardings have also taken up spaces at almost all lanes in the Capital City.

However, both the major opposition parties in the State, the BJP and the Congress have now lashed out at the ruling-BJD for vehemently misusing public money for spreading propaganda.

While the main Opposition BJP said that the BJD is exploiting public money for party propaganda, Congress has hit out at the Naveen Patnaik government over such 'misuse' of people's money during the pandemic situation.

"The signboards do not spread message for people or any awareness campaign, rather they serve the purpose of an advertisement for the BJD. It's an image-building attempt of the ruling party as it wants people to see the CM's face whenever they come out of home," alleged Babu Singh, president of BJP's Bhubaneswar unit.

Odisha Congress spokesperson Satya Prakash Nayak termed the move as unfortunate especially at a time when several austere measures and cost-cutting are being implemented to deal with the financial crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic.

"Using people's money for spreading lies to garner support of the people during a period of utter crisis like this pandemic is infelicitous. The BJD must realise that people are not so dumb that they don't understand," he added.

Defending the move of the Odisha government, senior BJD leader and Bhubaneswar Central MLA Ananta Narayan Jena however said that all should be happy that the CM continues to make people aware that the schemes and yojanas are infact run by people's money, their taxes, and there is accountability.

"It is not politically motivated and I am proud of it," said Jena.