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Gurgaon: Haryana Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday praised the people of Odisha calling them "hard-working" and launched a mobile application for the Odia population in the NCR through which they can connect with each other.

Khattar spoke at the 'Pravasi Odia Utsav' organised by Kalinga Bharti Foundation in association with Pravasi Odia organising committee in Om Shanti Retreat Centre, Bhora Kalan here.

Applauding the skilled people from Odisha who work Haryana, Khattar said, "unhone Haryana ki pragati me yogdaan diya hai (They have contributed in the development of Haryana)."

He also announced that the Haryana government is soon going to open the first Efficiency Development College in the state for skill upgradation.

The Chief minister also spoke in Odia language during his address at the event in which people hailing from Odisha and residing in NCR-- Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad-- participated.

Union Minister Dharmender Pradhan later made a reference to Khattar's address in Odia language and said," the Haryana Chief Minister speaking in Odia, what else can be a better example of cultural exchange than this?."

Drawing similarities between Haryana and Odisha, Khattar said the war of Mahabharta was fought in Haryana where in Lord Krishna gave the eternal message of Gita to the mankind which teaches us the way to live life while war of Kalinga was fought in Odisha which changed the heart of King Ashoka and he adopted Buddhism.

"Odisha is called the soul of India. It is known for its culture and heritage," he said.

Governor of Odisha, Dr S C Jamir, who was also present at the event, said the Odia Utsav gives opportunity for introspection that how much has the state progressed after it came into existence.

He hoped that Odisha and Haryana will further work together in service sector.

Pradhan, who also hails from Odisha, said that for people present here Odisha is their 'Janambhoomi' (birth place) but Haryana has become their Karmbhoomi and he can assure that the Odia people will work more hard and contribute in the progress of Haryana as well as the nation.

He said that a temple of Lord Jagannath has been constructed in Faridabad of Haryana which is perhaps the biggest Jagannath temple in the country.

Pradhan said that the Odia people think more in "scientific way", that is the reason the Sun Temple in Konark constructed at the sea shore hundreds of years ago, still stood magnificently without any sign of damage on its walls.

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