Will coterie against MP Jay Panda mar inauguration of Odisha’s biggest MPLAD project?
Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding the ruckus and rhetoric of a faction within the party, BJD MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda’s inauguration of the overhead water tank project in Buhalo panchayat in Nischintakoili block was a statement to prove the obstructionists wrong.
As a coterie working against the parliamentarian threatens to derail the inauguration of a multipurpose auditorium – the biggest MPLAD-funded project in Odisha with a total investment of Rs 396 lakh (Rs 20L state govt contribution) in Derabishi block of Kendrapara; another group has come out in support of Jay Panda.
While in Nischintakoili, there was a standoff between supporters of local MLA Pratap Jena and supporters of Jay Panda; in Derabishi block, resistance from the supporters of MLA Atanu Sabyasachi is palpable.
The chairperson of Derabishi block has already made intentions clear that the inauguration of the big-ticket auditorium will be met with protests. However, the local Sarpanch has categorically said anyone trying to derail any developmental work in the area will not be allowed to so.
“A project will be inaugurated but we are not invited or informed. Our people will sit on the streets on the inauguration day,” said Dilip Kumar Das, a supporter of MLA Atanu Sabyasachi.
“The MP today informed about the inauguration of the project through Twitter. As the block president, I don’t even know about the inauguration of the project. If required, we will protest it vehemently,” said Derabishi Block President, Saroj Kumar Sahoo.
On the other hand Sarpanch of local Gualsingh Panchayat, Batakrushna Sethy said “We will retaliate against anyone who will try to oppose the inauguration as this project is for the common people.”
“We have not come across anyone opposing the project. If anyone from outside tries to create disturbances, he will be opposed,” said a Gualsingh resident, Biswajit Das.
First Mahanga, then Nischintakoili and now Derabishi; the MP believes that these are targeted efforts to undermine his developmental works.
While replying to one of his followers in Twitter, Jay Panda said “All these complainants are being arm-twisted by the ringmaster. Until now they’ve all been ok with me, we’ve met frequently & jointly inaugurated projects, & the block chairman threatening to disrupt the auditorium inauguration next week had inspected its construction with me!”
With each passing day, opposition and allegations against Jay Panda are seemingly being proved stage-managed. While the coterie is alleging the parliamentarian of not staying in touch with the local leaders and misutilisation of MPLAD funds, Jay Panda’s office claims that he is the only parliamentarian in the country who has spend more time in his constituency. As per his office, even there are no guidelines on utilisation of MPLAD funds, Jay Panda has taken due care to ensure that investments are done based on the needs of the local people.
As per the data furnished by his office, from the parliamentarian’s LAD fund, Rs 1.78 cr has been spent in Nischintakoili block for 19 projects, Rs 1.47 cr in Mahakalpara for 23 projects, Rs 1.92 cr in Salipur for 29 projects, Rs 2.42 crore in Kendrapara block for 23 projects and Rs 1.25 crore in Kendrapara Municipality for 18 projects.
“Jay Panda is one parliamentarian who spends the most time in his constituency. It is very unfortunate that a group people are trying to bring such baseless allegations,” said Jay Panda’s political secretary, Jyoti Prakash Ghose.