BJP, BJD trade blows over rising youth unemployment

Bhubaneswar: Spewing of venom at each other over rising unemployment in Odisha, it seems like the BJP and the ruling-BJD are leaving no stones unturned to use it as a weapon to capture the youth vote bank ahead of the 2019 general elections.

While the BJP today locked up employment exchanges across Odisha, the BJD staged demonstrations in front of the central public sector undertakings (PSUs) in Chhatrapur and Koraput.

BJD activists have planned to hold demonstrations at Central PSUs in other districts across the State on November 6 and 8.

Similarly, the BJP youth wing activists locked up employment exchanges at several places even though police-attempts to stop them were futile.

“There are no employment opportunities here for Odisha youths and it is forcing them to migrate and work as bonded labourers. On the other hand, the State government is intentionally creating hindrances for the Central government in creating employment opportunities,” alleged BJP Yuva Morcha president, Tankadhar Tripathy.

On the other hand, ruling-BJD MLA from Chhatrapur, Priyansu Pradhan said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to keep his promises. We want to remind him of his promises made to the lakhs of unemployed youths of the State on creating job opportunities for them. If the PM fails to fulfil his promises, we will intensify our agitation.”

However, amid such mudslinging, youths in Odisha continue to suffer. How grim the situation is can be assessed from the fact that the village employment bureau in Telkoi of Keonjhar district is locked for the last four years following the transfer of the lone employee the office had.

Moreover, data from the Keonjhar district employment exchange office shows that out of the 30,000 unemployed youths who registered their names this year, only eight have got jobs.

“We are now registering names here as there are no staff in Telkoi; youths are directly coming here,” said Keonjhar district employment exchange officer.