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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With the hope to boost their people outreach efforts, major political parties in Odisha- BJD, BJP and Congress- today celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by launching padayatras to reach out to people.

All the three parties reportedly tried to show their strength ahead of the upcoming by-election in the State and to portray themselves as a better alternative to the other.

While Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi launched BJP's Nationwide 'Gandhi Sankalp Yatra' from Cuttack and Balasore districts, respectively, party's national vice president Baijayanta Panda flagged off the padayatra from Kendrapara district.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi today began the process to use the strength of the nation towards creating awareness on several issues ranging from plantation of trees, water conservation and avoiding single use plastics. On 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji, the best thing is to remember his ideologies," said Pradhan.

Union Minister Pratap Sarangi said that scientists have already warned that the use of plastic would be doubled by 2020 and hence, it's necessary to stop the use right away.

"PM Narendra Modi, who calls himself as the 'pradhan sevak', and Home Minister Amit Shah are giving so much importance to this day as they want people not to forget the great principles and ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi. We should work as per Gandhiji's ideologies and take a pledge to follow his principles as it will be good for the country and the world," said Panda.

Similarly, BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today launched party's 'Jan Sampark Padayatra'. During the launch of the event CM Naveen announced the launch of BJD's 'Social Service Wing'.

"I am indebted to the people of Odisha who acknowledged the hard work of BJD and gave it another chance to serve them. Our padayatra is an effort to reach out to them (people)," said Patnaik asking the party leaders and ministers to connect with people to resolve their issues and highlight the achievements of the government.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), which seems to be struggling to put the house in order, also took out a padayatra in Bhubaneswar today to spread Gandhiji's message of non-violence.

"Our padayatra is an effort to make people aware of the ongoing violence and religion and caste-based politics. We also want to tell people to walk on the path shown by Gandhiji as this government (BJP) has already pushed the country 100 years back," said Congress' Odisha in-charge, Jitendra Singh.

If political parties will follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, truth, peace and progress will be possible across the globe, said OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik during the party's padayatra.

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