Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 29:
The politics over inauguration of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL)’s Paradip refinery today took a new turn as Odisha’s ruling BJD announced to use the event as a show of strength for the party and hijack the event from BJP.
After taking on each other verbally ever since publicity vans were sent out on January 23 to promote Central government schemes in the name of ‘Jana Amantran Karyakram’ (public invitation programme) for the dedication of Paradip refinery, BJD today decided to bring in over a lakh BJD supporters to the event to negate the propaganda of BJP.
“Let the BJP come forward and take it as a challenge. We will see on January 7 (the day of dedication of IOCL refinery) if they got their campaign right or we got ours. I will show them their real support base in Odisha,” said Paradip MLA and BJD vice president Damodar Rout, who has been consistently criticising the BJP over the publicity van issue for using pictures of Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on those vans.
As per information provided by Rout, his party already has a plan in place to bring in supporters from various coastal districts including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur and Cuttack. Local leaders have been assigned the task of bringing in people.
“All the constituencies around Paradip are represented by BJD MLAs. I have spoken to all of them to bring in more and more people to give the Prime Minister a warm welcome,” he added sarcastically while advising BJP to use their own funds for their publicity instead of using IOCL funds.
The BJP, on the other hand, tried to put up a brave face.
“They have already been hijacking Central government schemes. After we brought their misadventure to the public, they are now planning to hijack a Central government function. I am very sure that the people of Odisha would give them a befitting reply, should they do so,” said BJP state unit president Basant Panda.
As per political observers, the repercussions of the show of strength will bear political significance given the attendance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the function.
With all the planning and propaganda machinery put in place by Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJD leaders, this will be considered as a test of popularity and organisational capability.