BJD completes 12 yrs in govt

Bhubaneswar:  Completing 12 years in the government, the BJD on Monday vowed to step up its battle against central "negligence" towards state and said it would never compromise with the interest of the state and its pride.

This was stated by BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here while addressing a function marking the 96th birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik. The late senior Patnaik`s birth anniversary was also being observed as Panchayati Raj Day in the state.

"The BJD will never compromise with the state`s interest and its pride. We will continue to fight against the Centre as successive central governments ignored Odisha`s interest," Patnaik who had taken oath of the office as the Chief Minister on March 5, 2000, said at the party office.

Asking party workers to work hard for eradicating poverty from the state, a dream of Biju Patnaik, the Chief Minister said his government was committed to work for the welfare of the weaker section. "We have launched several schemes for the welfare of the tribals, dalits, women and weaker section," Patnaik said.

Stating that women empowerment was one of the dreams of Biju Patnaik, he said his father was first in the country to empower women by reserving 33 per cent of seats in the three-tier panchayat system.

"I hope woman panchayat representatives of Odisha will rise to the occasion and prove themselves as the best in the country," Patnaik said. The day also witnessed marathon race, competitions among students, meetings and cultural events at different parts of the state.