Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, May 12:
BJD members, led by local MLA Raseswari Panigrahi and Government Deputy Chief Whip Rohit Pujari, on Monday took to the streets demanding the proposed IIM in Odisha to be set up in Sambalpur.
The party accused the central government of sitting on files even though the Odisha Chief Minister wrote a letter requesting the Centre to set up the IIM in Sambalpur if the guidelines can be relaxed. The ruling party threatened to continue the agitation and demonstration until their demand is fulfilled.
The party, along with people’s forum for IIM and local supporters, has collected and forwarded 5000 postcards to the president of India requesting him to fulfil their demand.
“It is most unfortunate and an attempt to hoodwink the backward population of Sambalpur. We have started this rally and postcard protest to oppose the negligence by the Centre. We have forwarded 5000 postcards to the President demanding the IIM here and will further strengthen the movement until the Sambalpur district gets the IIM,” said Pujari.
“The Odisha Government had earlier suggested Bhubaneswar in order to meet the terms and conditions of the Union HRD Ministry. The Central Government later asked the State Government to clarify, if it has any objections to the institute being built in Sambalpur, said Sambalpur MLA Panigrahi.
“Our Chief Minister, replying to the letter, had stated that he would strongly recommend Sambalpur, if the centre can relax its norms. The union government, however, hasn’t sent anybody for land inspection in past one month and is using dilly-dallying techniques,” she alleged.
The BJP, on the other hand, advised the Chief Minister to write a letter to the Centre asking not to set up the IIM in Bhubaneswar and let Sambalpur remain the only choice.
“The ball remains in Naveen Patnaik’s court. We would suggest him to take back all the recommendations he has made and let Sambalpur be the only recommendation,” said Pujari.