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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: With the BJD celebrating its 21st foundation day today, the Odisha unit of Congress observed the day as 'Black Day' accusing the ruling party of trampling the rights of panchayat samitis through schemes like PEETHA & Ama Gaon Ama Bikas. Party’s state unit chief Niranjan Patnaik sharpened his attack on Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik ridiculing his claims of development in the state in the past 18 years.

"Naveen Babu is boasting of development. But let me clarify that 85 lakh youths are unemployed, debt burden has burgeoned from Rs 18,000 crore during 2000 to Rs 93,000 crore currently, farmer suicides are increasing, 65 percent of population are still BPL, there are no full-fledged irrigation projects," Patnaik stated.

Speaking on Naveen’s criticism of the Centre over special category state status, Patnaik said the comments are ridiculous. “Naveen Patnaik-led BJD decided to walk out of Lok Sabha & abstain from voting during the no-confidence motion saying the discussion was futile for Odisha people. They are demanding special status now but why did they not discuss it then & there?” Patnaik questioned.

“15 years ago, 6 states were categorised as poorer than Odisha. But now they are ahead of our State which is very unfortunate,” he said.

On BJP's ‘Jabab Maguichi Odisha’ programme organised today, Patnaik said, “People will instead question the BJP as to what have they done for Odisha in the last four and a half years. Poeple want answers on GST, petrol prices, Ujjwala scheme, among others.”

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, while addressing a function to celebrate the party’s foundation day, claimed that he can make Odisha the No. 1 State in South Asia.

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