Dhenkanal: Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant 'Jay' Panda today said people of Odisha especially youths want development in the state so that nobody will have to go outside the state in search of work.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of 'Heijau', an informal tea party organised at Ganesh Bazaar in Dhenkanal, Jay Panda said, "After visiting different places in the State, I have realised that people are keen to see development in the State. Lakhs of Odia youths want to explore opportunities in the State instead of going outside to seek jobs. Therefore they are questioning why development is not happening here."

On being asked about his next political move, the former MP said, "So far no decision has been taken. But wherever I have gone, people have welcomed and supported me. They want to discuss the future of Odisha. Finding that many Odia people have been working outside the state and abroad including Middle East, I want to ask why they are not being provided with opportunities here."

Panda further stated that, “Everyone knows under what circumstances I quit the BJD. The way I was attacked with eggs and stones and the way the BJD behaved during my father's demise, prompted me to take such decision to quit the party."

When asked whether he is contemplating to contest from Dhenkanal constituency, Panda said, there is ample scope for change and betterment in Dhenkanal and a decision will be taken at the right time.

Responding to media query regarding spurt in incidents of crime against women and children, Panda said violence against women and children is on rise in Odisha which shows that something has gone wrong and action needs to be taken.

While commenting on the helicopter landing row, the former parliamentarian said, "Some people thought that after seizing the helicopter, I would stop my visits to different places in Odisha. But, people of Kendrapara know how I used to visit the district and those who have lodged a false case against me won't succeed in their attempts."

On Abhijit Iyer row, Jay Panda stated that he usually takes journalists and others on tours so that they can promote the State outside.

“Iyer is not my friend and had met him at a couple of press conferences. When he visited Konark, I was not accompanying him. I have already condemned the video which Iyer had uploaded on social media. Iyer should express regret or else face action as per the proceedings of the court and Assembly,” Panda added.

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