KENDRAPARA: Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, suspended from BJD in January, made a veiled attack on Naveen Patnaik Government on Saturday on the question of law and order situation and trying to besmirch his image. He was addressing a meeting at Gangapada village in Kendrapara block after inaugurating an overhead water tank at a cost of `28 lakh from the MPLAD fund with a storage capacity of one lakh litre.
“This is the 18th overhead water tank project under MPLAD fund within four years in Kendrapara parliamentary constituency . This water tank will quench the thirst of many villagers. Kendrapara district has no big industry for which I am trying to establish industry in the district by following in the footsteps of Biju Patnaik to provide employment to many youths but some persons, with an ulterior motive, have been opposing all my developmental works. Some influential persons are conspiring against me and trying to besmirch my image. But they will not succeed. All my detractors should know that my simplicity is my strength and not my weakness. I don’t fear eggs, stone and bullets and will work for the development of the people of Kendrapara. Biju Babu is my idol,” said Panda.
Panda put up his show of strength by gathering a large numbers of his supporters at Gangapada. He was given a rousing reception by locals, a section of dissident BJD and BJP supporters at Gangapada and its nearby areas. Many BJD leaders of the area were conspicuous by their absence at the meeting.Countering attempt of Panda to take credit for the establishment of water tank, Kendrapara block chairman Anam Mallick said local BJD leaders had first placed the demand for a water tank in Gangapada before Kendrapara MLA Kishor Tarei in 2015 and the MLA managed to convince Panda to grant fund for the project. Later, the MP also sanctioned fund from MPLAD for this project.
“We boycotted the function as Panda has not invited me to the meeting at Gangapada. Panda was rightly suspended from BJD as he had been doing anti- party works,” Mallick added.
On the other hand, Gangapada sarpanch Laxmipriya Rout, who was present in the meeting, said, “Nobody has right to oppose the inauguration of the water tank in our panchayat. Some persons with an ulterior motive are trying to put hindrance in the development works in our areas”.