Naveen targets BJP over Chilika, coastal highway project

Puri: Ahead of the third and fourth phase polls, BJD supremo and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has intensified campaigning for his party candidates and is leaving no stone unturned to corner and target the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJD chief today played the ‘Chilika card’ and accused that the BJP-led government at the Centre conspired to sell Chilika which provides livelihood to thousands of fishermen in the State.

While addressing a public meeting at Banpur, Patnaik said, “The BJP government conspired to sell Chilika. The BJD government stopped the conspiracy as Chilika is like our mother and pride. We will not allow anybody to destroy Chilika.”

Patnaik also targeted the Centre over the coastal highway project.

“The State government wanted new roads while the Centre was keen to undertake the coastal highway project on old roads. Should we look at the welfare of people or the benefit of contractors,” questioned Patnaik.

Responding to Patnaik’s allegations, Odisha BJP vice president Samir Mohanty said, “People of Odisha very well know what has happened to Chilika and its vicinity due to the 19 years of inefficiency of the State government.”

Be it the Chilika’s beautification or coastal highway project, the chief minister should answer why his minister stalled such projects, Samir demanded.

“People of Odisha will give a befitting reply to State government for neglecting Chilika,” Mohanty added.