BJP to strengthen base at grassroots level

Puri: The two-day State BJP executive meeting, which concluded here on Sunday, laid emphasis on strengthening the party base at the grassroots level.

The meeting unanimously passed two draft proposals relating to politics and agriculture and discussed strategies to corner the state government in the Assembly on the issues of agriculture, farmers’ problems, irregularities in ration card distribution, education and health. Apart from this, the party will seek clarification from the government on the steps it has taken to tide over the acute scarcity of drinking water in the state.

Addressing the meeting, state president Basant Panda called on his party leaders and workers to abide by ‘one team, one dream’ principle to strengthen the party base at the grassroots level and achieve the goal before the ensuing panchayat elections in the state.

He said the he will lead the party’s Jana Kalyan Yatra from April 7 to apprise the people of the success of the Central government and the failure of the state government.

Coming down heavily on the BJD government, senior BJP leader and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the state government has not been able to create 35 percent of irrigation network during its 16-year tenure. “We demand a white paper from the state government on this particular issue. There is no need for the state government to blow its trumpet and mislead the people,” he said.

BJP spokesperson Bhrugu Buxipatra said his party has plans ready to put the state government in the dock.

He said the main focus of the BJP will be to make all Centrally sponsored schemes available to the grassroots level. “Apart from this, we will stage a statewide agitation against the state government and create public opinion against it,” he added.

Dubbing the state’s budget for 2016-17 as highly disappointing, the party leaders said while the government has made meagre provisions for various developmental programmes, it has made bulk of the allocations for salaries, pensions and loan re-payment.

They also said while the state government receives a lion’s share of its budget from Central grants and taxes, it has been making false campaign about cut in central funds for different programmes.

Accusing the BJD Government of failing to safeguard the interests of farmers, they said the CAG had also pointed out that a majority of farmers in Odisha are not covered by insurance schemes. Even insured farmers are facing difficulties in getting the benefits.

In his reaction, BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said the state government has taken measures to tackle drought despite the non-cooperation of the Centre.

Talking about the allegations of the BJP, he said “It will have no effect either on the BJD government or the people of the state.”