15,000 BJD workers leave for June 12 Swabhiman rally at Delhi
Bhubaneswar: Around 15,000 activists of the ruling BJD today boarded seven special trains for New Delhi to attend the party's 'Swabhiman' rally on Wednesday demanding special category status for Odisha.
While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other ministers left for the national capital in flight and some in Rajdhani Express, the BJD workers and activists boarded specially requisitioned trains from different parts of the state.
The special trains started journey to Delhi from Puri, Cuttack, Bhadrakh, Berhampur, Koraput, Sambalpur and Rourkela.
"We will hold rally at Ramlila Maidan on Wednesday and meet the President and submit signature of above 1 crore people supporting our demand of special category status for Odisha," Patnaik said before leaving the state capital.
BJD's Swabhiman rally in the line of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's 'Adhikar' rally would certainly put pressure on the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre to accord Special Category Status to Odisha, said many leaders.
"I have never seen such enthusiasm among the party rank and file earlier. We will certainly achieve our goal," said BJD vice-president and panchayat raj minister Kalpataru Das.
The party leaders said they were expecting participation of about 30,000 people at the Wednesday rally to be addressed by Patnaik and others.
To make the event a success some senior party leaders including ministers have been camping in the national capital for quite some days to muster support of local Odias there, sources said.
Senior BJD legislator V Sugyan Kumari Deo on Sunday had handed over Patnaik a memorandum carrying signature of one crore people at a party meeting held here at the foothills of Khandagiri.