Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The BJP today took to streets citing BJD's 17 years of rule in the state as a big failure and tagged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's 'simple living and high thinking’ statement as farce.

Coming down heavily on the BJD's 20th foundation day celebrations in Puri, hundreds of activists of the saffron party held a demonstration at the Master Canteen square.

The party supporters also raised slogans demonstrating failures of the ruling party through posters, banners and placards mentioning media reports on failures of the ruling party.

Party vice president Samir Mohanty who held a press meet later in the day criticised the BJD and questioned its ethics.

Mohanty said that the ruling party has always neglected the interests of the state for personal benefits.

"On the one hand the CM calls for simplicity and humility in serving the people but on the other, out of the 117 MLAs of his party, 70 use posh cars to come to the Assembly. Does this not prove that BJD's mantra of simple living is a farcical statement," Mohanty questioned.

"Similarly, the CM boasts of simple living  but did he ever say no to lavish expenditure even for travelling from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack by a helicopter," he said.

Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan also came down heavily on the BJD blaming its 17 years of rule as reason for the underdevelopment of the state, backwardness of Odia culture and language. Taking a dig at BJD's celebrations Dharmendra said, "Nearly 40 lakh people in the state do not have access to latrines while 40 lakh lack electricity. There are precedents like Dana Majhi, Nagada and backwardness of many districts of the state and looking at these if the CM thinks that he has done justice to the state then many congratulations to him," he said.

Earlier in the day, in a message to party workers ahead of 2019 elections, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged them to serve people of Odisha with all humility.

Stressing on ‘simple living and high thinking’, Patnaik said that simplicity has its own power which connects to the masses.