Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 23:
As Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off 30 vehicles from Odisha capital as part of ‘Jana Amantran Karyakram’ (public invitation programme) today, BJD questioned the usage of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) resources for publicizing the schemes of Central Government.
The ‘Jana Amantran Karyakram’ programme, on papers, has been designed to create public awareness about the inauguration of Paradip refinery. However, 15 days before the actual launch, these LCD display and sound system fitted vehicles were seen promoting various schemes of the Central Government including NFSA, various insurances and infrastructure construction schemes etc through songs and visuals while on their way to each and every part of the state today.
Biju Janata Dal took strong objection to the usage of IOCL resources for publicity of the Central Government.
“This appears to be a political programme and a political campaign. IOCL should not be the medium of Central Government’s propaganda,” said BJD Spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy speaking to reporters today.
BJP Odisha unit President Basant Panda, however, defended the move.
“The vehicles are not promoting the BJP. It is not a programme of BJP either. If the Central Government is trying to take its message to the public through its own means, I see nothing wrong in it,” said BJP’s Panda.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the refinery to the nation on Feb 7, 2016. This state-of- the-art Rs 35,000 crore refinery with 15 million MT capacity is IOCL’s largest refinery ever. The plant will contribute enormously to the capacity and availability of IOCL’s petroleum products including petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG etc.