BJD to observe hartal on Apr 26 to avoid legal hurdles

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD will observe a 12-hour hartal, instead of bandh as announced earlier, on April 26 to protest against the Central government's discriminatory policies, said senior BJD leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das on Tuesday.
 
"Legal problems are associated with the word ‘bandh’. As a citizen of the country we should respect the law," said Das to media here.
 
The minister added no one would be forced to join the strike. “We appeal the people of the state to observe the hartal to protest against the Centre's negligence towards Odisha,” he said.
 
Power, drinking water supply, health service, exams in schools and colleges have been kept out of the of the purview of the proposed hartal, the senior leader said.
 
Notably, BJD had called for a dawn-to-dusk Odisha bandh to lodge its protest against the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) to allocate only Rs 250 crore per annum for Odisha.
 
Meanwhile, Utkal Bharat president Kharabela Swain said the party would move to court against the proposed hartal if it disrupts public life. Earlier, in 2010, the party had approached court against the BJD’s bandh on fuel price rise issue.