SAMBALPUR: Hundreds of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers took out a rally here on Monday to press their demand for establishment of the proposed Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Sambalpur.
Starting from Balibandha in the city, the rally passed through Kunjelpada, Jharuapada, Nandapada and Badsadak before culminating in front of the Head Post Office. The BJD workers also sent around 5,000 postcards addressed to the President demanding the premier institute in Sambalpur.
Sambalpur district BJD president Rohit Pujari, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi, former Rajya Sabha member Pramila Bohidar and Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) Chairman Bijay Mohanty participated in the agitation.
Pujari said, “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has already recommended Sambalpur for location of the proposed IIM. But, it was unfortunate that the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry was yet to take any decision on the issue.” The two Union Ministers from Odisha besides local BJP leaders should persuade the Central Government for establishment of the IIM in Sambalpur, he said and added that if the Centre fails to take any step, BJD would intensify the stir.
State secretary of Biju Yuva Janata Dal Sanjit Mohanty said the Centre is adopting dilly-dallying tactics over the issue. The Union HRD Minister had assured that if the State Government recommended the case of Sambalpur, her department would take necessary
action. Since the Chief Minister has already made the recommendation, the Union Government should initiate steps for setting up the IIM in Sambalpur, Mohanty said.
The People’s Forum for IIM in Sambalpur (PFIIMS), which has been fighting for the issue, also extended support to the BJD.
Convener of PFIIMS Sapan Mishra said they would extend support to any organisation which will fight for IIM in Sambalpur.