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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Soon after the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) launched a month-long awareness padyatra on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti today, the BJP and Congress strongly criticised the move and termed it an attempt to cover up the failure and irregularities in the COVID19 management.

"The Centre has allocated funds and ventilators to the State government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. But patients are finding it hard to get service. They have to wait in long queues to get ventilators and ICU beds. This is the real picture of Covid-19 management in the State," alleged BJP General Secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan.

"In such a scenario, if the State government is organising the padyatra in an attempt to convince people, it will be an insult to the Father of the Nation on whose birth anniversary the campaign is being launched. The State government should refrain from such practice," Harichandan added.

The ruling-BJD will be organising the padyatra from October 2 till November 2, wherein the party MLAs will create awareness among public at the panchayat level and distribute masks. The MLAs have also been asked to follow Covid-19 guidelines, extend cooperation in testing and encourage the frontline Covid-19 warriors.

On the first day of the awareness programme, the party leaders and supporters visited Jharana Slum in Bhubaneswar and distributed masks to the residents.

"As per the advice of the CM Naveen Patnaik, the party leaders and workers will sensitise people about COVID19 guidelines particularly social distancing and wearing of masks. The awareness programme will be carried out throughout the State," said Minister, Ashok Panda.

Responding to ruling-BJD's COVID19 awareness padyatra, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, "Thousands of people have died of Covid-19, but the State government is concealing the fact. On the other hand, the ruling party is conducting the padyatra to highlight its success in Covid-19 management. People will not accept such lies."

(Edited By Bikram Jena)

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