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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: The BJD seems to be properly aligning all its stars in the firmament to strengthen its support base in western Odisha as after Kalahandi, the ruling party in the State is all set to organise a mega event in Sundergarh district.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will visit Rourkela tomorrow and lay foundation stone of the world-class Hockey stadium in Rourkela. He is also expected to announce package for Rourkela Smart City and other projects.

Even though it is a government programme, banners and posters of the ruling-BJD have been put on display in the entire city. To make the event a successful one, 17 MPs and over 70 MLAs apart from senior BJD leaders have reportedly camped in the district.

While Ministers and senior leaders have been given responsibility of blocks, MLAs and other leaders are in-charge of panchayats. LEDs have also been installed at panchayat level for the event.

"Sundergarh is in our focus and also western Odisha. CM Naveen will inaugurate and lay foundation stone of several projects worth over Rs 4800 crore," said BJD's observer for Sundergarh district, Pritiranjan Gharei.

Former Minister and senior BJP leader Jual Oram alleged that the Odisha government has been creating hindrance in developmental works in the district. A total of 13 Eklavya Model Residential Schools will be established in the district. People will believe this government only if it will give them the same, he added.

CM Naveen's announcements are meaningless. Several projects he had announced since 2004 are yet to see the light of the day, alleged senior Congress leader George Tirkey. "Taking this into account, we are going to observe Dhoka (betrayal) Divas tomorrow," said Tirkey.

It is worth mentioning that in the previous panchayat election, BJD had won only 14 Zilla Parishad zones out of 35 in Sundergarh. Apart from losing the Parliamentary seat here in 2019 general election, the party had won only two assembly seats out of seven in the district.

So, the mega even in Sundergarh is believed to be part of the BJD's plan to strengthen its position in the region ahead of the upcoming panchayat and urban local bodies elections.

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik said that the position of BJD is not good in western Odisha and the party has fear of the same. Hence, the CM is touring across the State but it will not help the BJD.

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said that the CM is announcing several projects but to no use. "In the name of development, western Odisha is being exploited," he added.

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