BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to counter the aggressive campaign of the BJP to spread its organisational reach in Odisha, chief minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik today announced a new programme, 'Ama Gaon, Ama Bikash' asking the party leaders to meet the common man at the village level.
As per the new programme to be launched from July 1, ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior leaders will move to the panchayats to make the people aware of the welfare measures launched by the state government.
Addressing ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior leaders at a function here ahead of the three year completion of BJD government in the fourth term, the chief minister asked the party leaders to visit districts to propagate the achievements of the state government. However, senior leader and party MP Baijayant Panda was not present at the meeting because of his prior engagements elsewhere.
"The leaders will go to the districts and attend the extended executive meeting of the district committees and finalise action plan to strengthen the bond between the common people and the party," he said. The programme to be launched from May 24 will continue till June 30.
The chief minister said BJD will welcome young volunteers to work for the people in backward areas and termed them as 'Biju Sathis'.
Workshops on the achievements of the government will be conducted at panchayat and village levels, Naveen said and asked the leaders to constitute booth committees and submit report to him by September 30.
Hitting out at forces (meaning the BJP) for their anti-campaign against the state government, Naveen said the BJD always believed in work. Stating that protecting Odisha's interest is the priority before the BJD and state government, he said that a policy decision was taken at the first cabinet meeting after the BJD came to power for the fourth time to implement all announcements made in the election manifesto.
Naveen said many people are in touch with him to join BJD. "We welcome all those eager to join the party to widen the base of BJD further," he said.
However, several leaders pointed towards the growth of BJP in Odisha and warned that unless steps are taken to correct the situation, BJD will be defeated in the next election. Alleging that there is no coordination among partymen at different levels, BJD MP Tathagat Satpathy alleged that senior leaders including MPs and MLAs are encouraging factionalism.
Criticising those who are giving a rosy picture of the party and government, Satpathy said there should be a clear policy vis-a-vis the BJP. Besides, he alleged that leaders are busy with transfer, posting and contract work which are having a very negative impact on the party's image.
Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya said the message about the good work done by the state government is not reaching the people. Senior minister Damodar Rout described the BJP as a paper tiger and BJD should not be afraid of it. Leader of BJD parliamentary party Bhatruhari Mahtab and several other leaders also spoke.