BJD padayatra from Oct 2

Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD will take out ‘Jan Sampark Padayatra’ from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 to Jayprakash Narayan Jayanti on October 11 to make people aware of the Centre’s special package for Bihar and reduction in several centrally sponsored schemes in Odisha.

This will be the first time that BJD will hit the streets against BJP since 2014 general election.

“We will make the people aware how the NDA government is neglecting Odisha. When Modi government announced a special package of Rs 125 lakh crore for poll-bound Bihar, it stopped the critical programmes like KBK Yojana, BRGF and others related to poor people in Odisha,” BJD spokesman Pratap K Deb told reporters here.

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen will kick start the padayatra here, while ministers and senior party leaders have been assigned to partcipate in the programme in different districts, he said.

Asked about the BJD’s demand of special category state status for Odisha, Deb said “We now understand that they have changed the nomencleature of the spcial category state and remaned it to special package. The BJD demands special package for Odisha on the lines of Bihar.”

Odisha, he said, suffered financial loss due to change in the sharing patterns of centrally sponsored schemes and stop in the eight welfare programmes funded by the Centre.

When reporters pointed out that the state was set to gain a huge amount from coal block auction, the BJD leader said “Yes, recently union coal secretary made it clear that the state will earn Rs 45,000 crore over a period of 25 years.

The coal mine auction money will come only after two years.”

Another party spokesman Samir Ranjan Dash said the padayatra will highlight achievements of the Patnaik government and that it has been trying its best to fulfil promises made during the 2014 elections.