After poll date announcement, BJP, BJD go into campaign mode

Bhubaneswar: With the announcement of dates for the upcoming elections in Odisha, both the BJP and the BJD have now hit their campaign trails to corner each other.

Workers of the ruling-BJD today launched ‘Haq Maguchi Odisha’ drive to counter the BJP. Alleging Centre’s indifferent attitude towards the development of the State, hundreds of the ruling party workers took out a rally at Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar.

The BJD alleged that although BJP’s primary agenda in 2014 election manifesto was to grant special status category to Odisha, the saffron party has not fulfilled the promises after being voted to power at the Centre.

The party further alleged that PM Modi has utterly failed in creating two crores jobs per year for youths, hiking coal royalty, resolving Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh and other pending issues of Odisha.

“Be it Congress-led UPA or BJP-led NDA, both have betrayed and exploited Odisha. We are getting very little as compared to the amount of tax the Centre is levying from the State. We will take the agitation to the grassroots,” said advisor of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD), Chinmaya Sahu.

This apart he also added, “The BJP-led Centre has failed to grant special category status to Odisha, 33 per cent reservation for women. From now, we will not ask for our rights instead forcibly take it away.”

On the other hand, BJP continued with its ‘Vijay Sankalp Yatra’ with an aim to create awareness among the people to re-elect Narendra Modi-led BJP Government at the Centre and oust the BJD Government from the State.

As part of the yatra, BJP state president Basant Panda led a party delegation to several villages including Bhaleswar, Beltukuru, Kadomeri, Bisora, Parkod, Bhainsatal, Budhipali and Dumerpani of Nuapada district today.

The saffron party has set a target to organise 5,000 meetings in between now and March 17. Rallies and public meetings are scheduled to be organised in all the Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies as part of the campaign.

Responding to BJD’s allegations, BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra targeted the ruling party for its alleged failure in implementing several central schemes in Odisha and delay in various projects.

“On one hand, the BJD government is reluctant to implement central schemes in Odisha while on the other hand, it is boasting about rights. The BJD should be rather answerable for delay in construction of railway and national highway projects in the State,” said Mohapatra.

The saffron party leader also questioned why the central funds allotted to different departments of the State government are returning without being utilized in developmental works.