Rly Hqrs row: BJD launches 3-day protest

Bhubaneswar: Terming Union minister for tribal affairs and panchayati raj V Kishor Chandra Deo’s plea to shift the East Coast Zonal Headquarters from here to Vishakhapatnam as a ‘conspiracy’ of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) against the State, the ruling BJD has launched State-wide protest across the State against the move from today.
 
The BJD leaders took out a procession from Master Canteen square to Bhabneswar station where they staged demonstration for at least one hour shouting anti-UPA slogans and raising banners. Similar scene was also sighted in Cuttack where the ruling party activists staged a sit-in in front of Cuttack Railway station. 
 
“It is simply intolerable and the move is a deliberate attempt by the UPA government when there is no justification of such a plea,” BYJD president Sanjay Das Burma had said adding that the party would stage 1-hour peaceful protest at all railway stations in Odisha from Thursday.
 
“We’ll appeal the public to join hands with us for the noble cause which will continue for three days,” he stated.
 
Deo in a submission before the Antony Committee, which is looking into the situation arising out of the decision to form a separate Telangana state, has proposed to shift the base of ECoR to Vizag from Bhubaneswar.
 
Though simultaneously the minister pleaded for shifting of the South Eastern Railway (SER) headquarters, which is currently located at Kolkata, to Bhubaneswar as a compromise, the proposal has drawn severe criticism from Congress as well as the BJD.
 
"ECoR came to Odisha after a long struggle in 2003. This is a conspiracy by the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and an insult to Odia pride," senior BJD leader and state finance minister Prasanna Acharya had said.
 
Senior Congress leader and former railway minister Kanhu Charan Lenka said, the Union minister must announce the shifting of SER headquarters to Bhubaneswar first and then talk about shifting the ECoR base to Vizag.