KONARK:Two senior Congress leaders on Sunday came down heavily on the State Government over its non-performance, particularly its failure to ensure the rights of the Dalits.
The presence of the two leaders, former president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik and senior party leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, at a public meeting organised by the Dalit Mahasangh, has assumed significance.
Addressing the fourth annual function of Dalit Mahasangh as the chief guest, Niranjan criticised the State Government for its populist measures including rice at `1 per kg, distribution of free mobiles and chappals. “Now I don’t have any interest to make people understand, who will listen to us,” he said. He, however, said that social and economic status of Dalits have not changed in Odisha even after 68 years of Independence.
The campaign, launched by Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar to bring the Dalits to the mainstream, is yet to be achieved, he said.
Alleging that women have become unsafe during the 16-year rule of the BJD in the State, Mohapatra said sexual atrocities on girl students of residential schools have increased. He also criticised the State Government for its failure to provide employment to youths. Mohapatra called upon the Congress workers to stay united to defeat the BJD Government. Organisation president Subhas Kandi presided and secretary Pratap Kandy was also present.
Niranjan was taken in a procession by hundreds of Dalit women and Congress workers from Kundura Square to the bus stand where the meeting was held. The organisation felicitated 15 persons for their achievement in different spheres.
Niranjan and Mohapatra were also given a grand welcome at a function in Nimapara.