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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Even as the war of words between BJD vice president Damodar Rout and his party over Biju birth centenary celebration is yet to die down, the former today came up with a statement that is bound to further strain his already sour relationship with the ruling party.

Rout today levelled an allegation that the centenary celebrations of the legendary leader have been marred at Panchayat levels due to the government programme here on the same day.

"The Government had decided to hold a meeting of panchayat representatives on the same day. So, the 100th year Biju birth day celebration, which was supposed to be observed at panchayat levels, was not held," Rout said.

However, the Biju Birth Centenary Committee has planned to convene a meeting before the Assembly session.

"Just before the Assembly session, the Biju Centenary committee will meet to chalk out an action plan to reach out to people at block and panchayat levels with the message of Biju birth centenary celebration," committee convener Bed Prakash Agrawal said.

The Excise minister, who held an event at Paradip to celebrate the centenary celebrations of the former chief minister, had come down heavily on his critics for confining the late leader into a particular group.

"He (Biju Babu) was not a property of anybody or any particular group. But, unfortunately some people have given a different colour to it," Dama had said while addressing a host of Biju lovers during the centenary celebration in the port town. Rout had further stated that the people, who were strangers to Biju Babu, are taking decision for his birth centenary celebrations.

The party has strongly reacted to Dama's remark. "When the people knew about the contribution of Biju Babu, they came to celebrate his birth centenary function even as they had never come in contact with the late leader. They are also the Biju lovers and should not be criticized under any circumstances," BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said.

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