In the midst of BJD’s Statewide Jansampark padayatra, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday kept his date with Maoist-hit Koraput district. He inaugurated several programmes during his day-long visit.
However, Naveen’s proposed visit to Malkangiri district had to be cancelled due to heavy rains. The Chief Minister’s return to Bhubaneswar was delayed by several hours as his plane had to be diverted to Visakhapatnam because of inclement weather. Naveen had to spend almost two hours in Visakhapatnam before landing here around 8 pm.
The BJD is taking up its annual mass contact programme in a big way. Significantly, all the ministers and MLAs from the district were present in Koraput where Naveen inaugurated the Integrated Livestock Development Centre. He announced that three lakh families from 5,000 villages will be covered under the dairy development programme during the next five years.
Educated youths from the villages will be engaged as ‘Gopala’ in livestock centres. He announced that livestock inspectors will be posted in every panchayat in the coming days. Milk production in the State would go up besides ensuring income for the families involved in the implementation of the programme, the Chief Minister added.
Jhina Hikaka, the BJD MLA from Laxmipur who was kidnapped by the Maoists from his constituency and released after 33 days, made his first appearance in Koraput. Hikaka was kidnapped on March 24 when he was returning to Laxmipur from Koraput.
Hikaka, who has been confined to Bhubaneswar with heavy security, also visited his constituency. The BJD MLA is still reported to be under threat from the Maoists who had given a deadline to him to resign as an MLA.
Sources said with elections approaching, Hikaka can no longer afford to keep away from his constituency.