A day after Bharatiya Janata Party targeted the BJD claiming it as the PJD- Pandian Janata Dal, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee chief Niranjan Patnaik today criticised the ruling party saying that BJD should be renamed after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 35th foundation day of All India Mahila Congress in Bhubaneswar, Niranjan launched a scathing attack on the CM and said, “Naveen Patnaik has been running the party for the last 18 years in the name of Biju Babu. The question now is the party does not have a single Biju Babu follower any more. It is better they rename the party after Naveen.”
“Naveen is only famous because of Biju Babu and rice scheme. Apart from these, he hasn’t brought any development in the State in these 18 years,” he added.
Niranjan further questioned, “Is there any development? Is there job opportunity for youths? Is there any facility for the farmers?”
The OPCC Chief informed that around 8000 people will be employed in Biju Yuva Vahini, of which 1000 have already been employed. Mocking the Yuva Vahini initiative, he said, “A total budget of Rs 400-450 crore has been estimated for the programme. This year itself, there will be expenditures of Rs 150 crore. The BJD is misutililising government funds through Biju Yuva Vahini for election campaigning.”
There are no facilities for Harijans, tribals, women, disabled and Dalit in any of the programmes of BJD, he stated after the Mahila Congress official flag was unveiled at the event.
On the importance of women in politics, Niranjan said, “The country has witnessed Indira Gandhi as Prime-Minister, Sonia Gandhi leading the oldest political party and Pratibha Patil as President of the country. Is there still any room for doubt about women empowerment? The Congress party has always given priority to the role of women in politics and will continue to do so in the upcoming elections”.
This apart, many important discussions regarding the role of the Pradesh Mahila Congress in women safety and other social problems took place at the event.
State Mahila Congress President Sasmita Behera said, “It is a very proud moment for all of us that Mahila Congress stepped into its 35th year. Indira Gandhi had laid its foundation stone on this day in 1984 as a separate autonomous body, and now Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are working to pass the Women Empowerment Bill so that women may have greater share in the democracy of the country by having seats in Parliament and Assembly.”>