The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Odisha celebrates its 17th foundation day today on 26 December 2014.
BJD has gone on an overdrive to mobilise people for State-wide programmes scheduled on Friday in a bid to counter the Opposition onslaught on different scams.
Public meetings will be organised at all the district headquarters towns for which ministers and MLAs have been given targets to mobilise people. All the district units have been asked to ensure that at least 10,000 people attend the meetings.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik and the three MLAs of Bhubaneswar city will attend the celebrations at the State headquarters while ministers, MPs and MLAs have been asked to attend functions at their respective district headquarters.
The current plight of the BJD, in a way, sums up its journey of the past 17 years, starting out as a regional party that joined hands with the BJP to dethrone the Congress in the state in 2000 and then dumped the saffron outfit after being in alliance for nearly 10 years. However, political compulsions, including a threat to the image of its leader, have propelled it to adopt a soft line towards the same BJP even though it publicly continues to maintain a policy of equi distance from both the Congress and the BJP.
The Opposition Congress, however, criticised the Chief Minister for trying to divert the attention of people from the scams by organising the BJD foundation day across the State in such a grand manner. The Chief Minister has chalked out elaborate programmes only for his self-defence in the wake of the CBI probe into the chit fund scam, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan said.
Excise minister Damodar Rout asserted that the Odisha government and the BJD party had their focus on development which was reflected in the party’s slogan “Samruddha Odisha amar sankalp” (development of Odisha is our resolve) coined in the context of its foundation day.