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Saswat Singhdeo

Khurda: BJP has targeted the Odisha government over non-allocation of land for the proposed Paika Rebellion Memorial at Barunei on the foothills in Khurda district.

Despite a grant of Rs 100 crore from the Centre and Rs 90 crore from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), the State government is yet to allocate land for the proposed memorial to commemorate the Paika rebellion, alleged BJP during observance of 212th death anniversary of freedom fighter Jayi Rajguru.

"We have written letters to the Chief Minister urging him to allocate land for the memorial but he has not responded yet. He should immediately sanction the amount for the pride of Odisha," senior BJP leader Biswabhushan Harichandan said.

Earlier this year, Union Culture Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma wrote to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Utkal varsity Vice-Chancellor for establishment of Paika Bidroha Memorial in Khurda and setting up a Paika Bidroha Chair at the premier University in Bhubaneswar respectively.

Responding to the allegations, BJD MP Prasanna Kumar Patasani said, "The BJP is levelling allegations only to gain political mileage out of it."

On the other hand, historians have urged both the State and central governments to complete the work for the proposed project at the earliest.

"The State and Centre should construct a memorial that will always remind us of the historic paika rebellion in Odisha," historian Satyabadi Baliarsingh said.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had lashed out at the Odisha government alleging State government's apathy in allotment of land for a memorial dedicated to the Paika Rebellion.

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