BJD holds protest against Odisha’s ‘neglect’

Bhubaneswar, April 22 (IANS) Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Monday held a demonstration here to protest against the alleged neglect of the state by the Congress-led central government.

Carrying posters and banners and shouting slogans against the central government, the party activists and leaders took out rallies. They gathered near the Raj Bhaban, the official residence of state Governor S.C. Jamir and held a protest meeting.

Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi of not paying attention to Odisha’s problems, the BJD leaders threatened to intensify their agitation in the coming days.

The BJD has already called for a 12-hour state-wide shutdown April 26. Before that, protest meetings would be held across Odisha and people will be made aware of the central government’s “attitude”, senior BJD leader and legislator Sanjay Das Burma told reporters.

He expressed anger that “inadequate” allocation of Rs.1,000 crore was made by the central government to the state for the next four years towards the backward region grant.

“It’s most unfortunate that the central government is discriminating against Odisha on political considerations. This is a clear case of negligence to the state and a case of political injustice,” chief minister and president of BJD Naveen Patnaik had told reporters here two days ago.

On the other hand, state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik said the BJD government was not able to get more funds because of its own fault. The state government is inefficient and it was not able to utilise the funds already sanctioned by the central government, he alleged.

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