BJD will not allow any attempt to tarnish clean image of CM: Das
Bhubaneswar: Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal would not allow any attempt to tarnish the clean image of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a senior party leader said.
The party would will fight against the Centre's "negligence and negative attitude" towards the state, he said.
Addressing the BJD's State Executive Body meeting here on Sunday, party general secretary (Organisation) and Jajpur MLA Pranab Prakash Das said that the regional outfit would not allow any attempt to tarnish the clean image of Patnaik.
Das, who is considered as number two after Patnaik in the regional outfit, said this in reference to the recent arrest of Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi on the charge of cheating and fraud. He was accused of indulging in "anti- people" activities.
Panigrahi, who was once a close aide of the chief minister, had also worked as his representative in Hinjili assembly segments for years. The party expelled him from the BJD following his alleged involvement in the job scam.
The opposition BJP took political mileage out of it and attempted to tarnish Patnaik's image by raising questions as to how the chief minister allowed such an "anti-people" leader to work with him.
Das also asked the party rank and file to take chief minister Naveen Patnaik's good works to the doorstep of each person in the state.
The regional outfit considers Patnaik's clean image as the party's USP (unique selling proposition) of the BJD, which has won five consecutive general elections under the chief minister's leadership.
As many as nine political resolutions were passed in the crucial meeting ahead of the party's 24th Foundation Day scheduled to be observed on December 26.
BJD vice-president and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra said a total of nine resolutions were passed in the meeting. One of the important resolutions was to demand 33 per cent reservation for women both in the Assembly and Parliament as well as protection of Odisha's rich culture and heritage.
The BJD's primary membership number has crossed one crore in the state, party leader Sanjay Dasburma said, adding that the regional party has emerged as the number one organisation in the state. One in every 4.5 people in Odisha is now a BJD member.
He said the government led by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has been emphasizing protection of Odisha's language, culture and tradition. The chief minister has taken all responsibilities for the growth of the Odia language, Mishra told reporters after the meeting.
The regional outfit in one of its resolutions said that the inclusive development of farmers has always been a key focus for the BJD government in the state. "Our party is with farmers on MSP issues and we will continue our fight for the same as per the Swaminathan Committee Recommendation," Mishra said.
The meeting also resolved to continue the party's demand for a Special Category State status for Odisha. "Though the central government gives assurance to fulfil Odisha's demand for a Special Category State status, the state has been betrayed," the resolution said.
Dasburma said, "Odisha is the most deserving state to get the Special Category status. But the Centre has failed to meet its commitment to grant it."
While attending the meeting, many leaders opined that the Centre's negative attitude towards Odisha and negligence have come has hurdles before the development of the state.
However, the state has successfully overcome all hurdles due to effective and visionary leadership of Patnaik, they said.
Though the state is being frequently hit by natural calamities like cyclones and floods, Odisha successfully handles all such disasters due to effective management by the chief minister, they said.
The party also passed a resolution for the development of the people belonging to scheduled tribe, scheduled caste, minority and other backward classes.
As many as 80 members of the state executive committee attended the meeting held at the state BJD headquarters here while Patnaik joined the session through virtual mode.
Asked on the BJD's change of stand against the Centre, party's senior vice-president and MP Prasanna Acharya said: "There are indications on the attempt to dilute the federal system of India. They want to encroach upon the state's rights."