Odisha to see political slugfest on Gandhi Jayanti

Bhubaneswar, Sep 28 (IANS) Gandhi Jayanti On October 2 is all set to witness a political contest amidst parties here, with the ruling BJD and its bete noire the Congress and the BJP preparing to hold simultaneous rallies across the state.

While the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress have decided to launch “padyatras”, or walkathons from October 2, the state unit of the BJP on Monday announced it will hold ‘satyagrahs’ (non-violent protest) in all 147 constituencies across Odisha to highlight the failures of the BJD-led Odisha government in contrast to the welfare measures undertaken by the Narendra Modi-led central government.

“We would raise the failures of BJD government during the day-long satyagrah in all assembly constituencies. The government has failed to meet the promises made in its manifesto including providing loan at one percent to farmers and health insurance to all in one year,” BJP spokesperson Sameer Mohanty said.

On the other hand, the BJD on Monday held a preparatory meet for the Jan Sampark (people’s connect) Yatra, scheduled to be held between October 2 and October 11. Party president Naveen Patnaik and 121 observers chalked out a roadmap for it.

“During the padyatra, our focus would be to highlight the recent development initiatives and the steps taken to fulfil the promises made in the manifesto,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said.

“We would also highlight how we are taking development activities despite the fund cuts and closure of schemes by central government,” he added.

Buoyed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit, the Odisha Congress has also decided to take out a “padyatra” to raise the issues affecting people in the state.

The Congress would try to connect with voters, gradually slipping away from the party’s grip since 2000.

Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan said the “padyatra” slated to begin from Gandhi Jayanti would culminate on October 9, on the occasion of Gopabandhu Jayanti.

He said the Congress would raise the issues of farmers’ suicides, drought and power cuts while going to the general public.

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