Odisha would march ahead on the path of development if people worked unitedly to translate the dream of legendary leader and former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik into reality, said Naveen Patnaik on Monday.
Addressing a function at the BJD office here to celebrate the 97th birth anniversary of the Biju Patnaik, the Chief Minister, however, was silent on his bete noire Rajya Sabha member and Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) chairperson Pyarimohan Mohapatra.
However, several other leaders who addressed the function lashed out Pyarimohan without taking his name. In an obvious reference, the leaders said noises made by some will have no impact on the BJD and its electoral fortune.
Naveen said Biju Babu had dedicated his life for the development of Odisha. “He brought revolutionary changes in the field of agriculture and wanted to see Odisha industrially developed,” he said. After his death, the BJD had been working relentlessly for the past 13 years to fullfil his dream, Naveen said and added that his Government has launched a series of schemes for the benefit of poor.
Speaking on the occasion, Health Minister Damodar Rout described Biju Patnaik as a legendary leader and said he introduced the three tier panchayat system in the State in 1993. Stating that it was Biju Patnaik who introduced 33 per cent reservation for women in elected panchayat bodies, Rout said the former chief minister had coined the slogan ‘gaonku kama and maku samman’ and worked for making it a reality.
Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya, Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patro, former minister AU Singhdeo also addressed the function.
The three MLAs from Bhubaneswar Ashok Panda, Bhagirathi Badjena and Bijay Mohanty said slum dwellers will be given houses under the Rajiv Awas Yojana within the next 15 days. The scheme will be launched from Mahinshikhal and Patharbandh slums.
A mini marathon was also flagged off by the Chief Minister on the occasion. The marathon began at Biju Patnaik Park and the final point was Kalinga Stadium. People of all walks of life participated.