Parties scamper to take credit after Gurupriya bridge inauguration

Bhubaneswar/Malkangiri: Hours after the inauguration of Gurupriya Bridge in Malkangiri, political parties in Odisha engaged in crossfire of words over who should get the credit for the construction of the bridge.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who inaugurated the bridge today stated it is a record that the bridge was completed in four years despite many hurdles.

Patnaik said now the area of Chitrakonda will no longer be called as ‘cut-off region.’

“It will now become developed. I would like to thank all those people who were involved in the construction of the bridge. Besides, I pay homage to all those people who lost their lives because of the bridge,” he added.

Shortly after the CM’s statement, OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik stated that Gurupriya Bridge was one of the dreams of former Chief Minister and Congress leader, late JB Patnaik.

“It was a dream project of JB Patnaik and spade work was processed during his tenure. The tender was invited and work order was awarded. However, due to Naxal menace the work could not begin,” said the OPCC chief.

He questioned why the State government is not taking credit for increasing debts, corruption, unemployment and rise in incidents of violence against women.

Reacting to the ‘dream project’ statement, BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra said, “Who stopped those who have been claiming it as their dream project from realising the dream? For the past 10 years, the UPA was in power at the Centre.”

Mohapatra stated that the current government at Centre played a significant role starting from allocating grants to providing security personnel; everything was taken care of by the Centre.

The credit goes to the BSF jawans who kept a tight vigil so that bridge work could be carried out, he added.

On the other hand, ruling-BJD chief whip, Amar Prasad Satpathy stated despite all kinds of hurdles, bridge work was completed during the regime of Naveen Patnaik. “Now it is up to the people of Odisha to decide who should get the credit for the bridge,” Satpathy said.