What’s In Store At The Big Political Showdown Of Bolangir And Bhubaneswar?

14 January 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: With the general elections inching closer, meetings by political bigwigs are also keeping pace accordingly as being felt by the general voters. Recently it had been at Puri and Baripada while tomorrow (January 15) will be marked with another of the sort at Bolangir in western Odisha and also here at the capital city.

While BJP poster boy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been paying visits to Odisha at regular interval, Odisha’s ruling BJD is deemed to be virtually busy in its same political exercise. Important to note is that both are having their respective programmes on the same day coincidentally.

While BJD’s Puri programme was on women empowerment the day PM Modi had had his much-hyped ‘Bikash’ (development) agenda at Baripada, BJD’s tomorrow’s programme here in the city is on farmers’ empowerment. On the other hand, Modi is claimed to be opening yet again his developmental Pandora box at Bolangir.

Senior BJD leader and Odisha Agriculture Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “Like every year, ‘Odisha Krushi Utsav-2019’ will also be observed tomorrow here. This Krushi Utsav term will be marked with seminars every day on various aspects of agriculture. The occasion is of two parts. One is that of seminar and another is that of exhibition. Hence, there will be different stalls at the exhibition relating to agriculture. In the seminar also deliberations will be held on climate change, organic farming, etc. Letter of Appreciation will be given away to over hundred farmers everyday during the programme.”

He informed, “It will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister at 11 am tomorrow while the Governor will grace the valedictory session. The three-day programme including the valedictory session will also be graced by various ministers and agricultural experts. Mainly Panchayati Raj Minister and Water Resources Minister will join the programme.”

“The programme has already been slated before six months. It is not exclusively for this year. Coincidentally it has fallen on the same day of the Prime Minister’s programme,” argued the Odisha Agriculture Minister-cum-senior BJD leader.

In his reactions, Odisha BJP spokesperson Dilip Mohanty said, “Usually lakhs of people attend Modi’s programme. This time at Bolangir programme, there is every possibility of a gathering of around 3-4 lakhs. Keeping in view, adequate arrangement has also been made accordingly.”

He informed, “This time Modiji is coming with Rs 1500 crore package like laying foundation stones for various projects and also inaugurating several projects.”

He further informed, “Hence, it is good time running for Odisha. In this month or in the past 25-27 days, Modiji’s visit has been trice. For example, December 24 at Khurda, January 5 at Baripada and on January 15 (tomorrow) at Balangir, during which approximately Rs 19,000 crore cost projects have been inaugurated as well as foundation stones laid.”

“Our party’s tallest leader is Narendra Modi. When he is visiting Odisha, he is obviously going to motivate us in his speech besides his official programmes,” the BJP spokesperson stated.

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Sashi Bhusan Behera, Minister, Agriculture, Odisha

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Dilip Mohanty, Spokesperson, BJP, Odisha