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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: State government’s recommendation to Centre yesterday preferring Sambalpur as the location for setting up Odisha IIM has stirred a hornet’s nest with hundreds of people in different parts of the State taking to streets today demanding the establishment of the premier management institute at their respective places.

While agitators in Berhampur under the banner of ‘Forum for IIM’ demanded that the top B-school be set up in the Silk City, similar voices were heard in Rourkela and Balasore where members of several organisations chanted anti-government slogans alleging the BJD government of adopting favouritism over the issue to gain electoral mileage out of it.

“We have been demanding for long for the establishment of an educational institute of national repute in Berhampur, whenever there is a proposal from the Centre to set up such institutes. But every time we have gone unheard,” rued a protestor.

“Since the CM has recommended relaxing criteria for Sambalpur, why this can’t be done for Berhampur? Why this government is showing such an apathetic attitude towards our city?” he sought to know. “This time, we won’t let the opportunity go like this,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters, largely students under the banners of Rourkela Jagran Manch and Sachetan Nagarik Manch, took out rallies demanding that the premier B-school be located in the Steel City.

“We have better road and rail connectivity than Sambalpur. Besides, the Centre has also shown its eagerness to upgrade the existing airstrip of SAIL very soon. Taking into consideration location advantage, Rourkela is way ahead of Sambalpur due to the steel plant and other industrial units,” argued Ketan Mallick, a student.

“Besides, National Institute of Technology (NIT) here is something the State can’t ignore while considering for setting up of IIM in the State,” stated another student.

Students in Balasore reasoned that since the place is an industrial hub and has good rail and road connectivity, the State government must consider setting up the proposed IIM there.

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