Cassian Baliarsingh

With just a few days left for the Padampur by-election, BJP National VP Baijayant Panda and National Spokesperson Sambit Patra on Saturday hit the Padampur campaign trail at Bilaspur in Jharbandh block.

Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari and others also joined them as they addressed a huge public gatherings at the site. Panda happily obliged for selfies as huge number of people thronged to get a glimpse of him.

Jay Panda’s ‘need for a double engine government’ was a roaring hit as thousands of people participated in the public gathering on Saturday. He also cornered the BJD government for neglecting western Odisha and lashed out at the Naveen Patnaik-led government for putting on hold various Central schemes in the state.

Addressing the gathering, Panda begun his speech with ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and said, “No Ayushman Bharat, no irrigation facilities in this region as promised. All the Central schemes have been put on hold in the State. Odisha, particularly the western region has been subjected to continuous neglect by the State govt. It needs change, it needs a double-engine government.”

Speaking at the event, Sambit Patra expressed gratitude for getting a chance to visit Bargarh again. “The country will celebrate Diwali and Holi once again after BJP makes another history by winning in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. I’m confident enough that lotus will also bloom in Padampur. Padampur itself has lotus in its name. Lotus is in our blood, in our soul and spirit. So, BJP will definitely win in Padampur,” Patra said.

He also thanked and credited PM Modi for the decline in coronavirus cases in the country.

“Today, we have gathered here because of PM Modi’s relentless efforts to curb coronavirus. He ensured that every Indian gets free vaccine doses to stop Covid-19 spread. So, everyone of us should be thankful to him,” Patra added.

Meanwhile, issues like farmers’ problems, district status to Padampur and acute migration problems are taking centre stage in the campaign. Annual mass exodus after Nuakhai, an agrarian festival, is common in Padampur sub-division.

Thousands of people migrate through middle men and are subjected to physical and mental torture at their workplaces in other states.