Chief minister Naveen Patnaik promised people of Bijepur that he would personally monitor all developmental work of the constituency, electricity to all parts of Bijepur will be provided by August as the people had accepted the path of progress over arrogance and violence by overwhelmingly voting for the BJD in the bypoll held on 23 February.
The thanksgiving meeting billed as ‘Juhaar Bijepur’ was organised to mark the over 41,000 margin victory of the BJD in the recently concluded by-election.
It was for the first time since 2004 that Bijepur had voted for the ruling BJD candidate Ms Rita Sahu, widow of Congress MLA Subal Sahu whose death had necessitated the bypoll. “The development of Bijepur is my responsibility now” said the CM while announcing 20 projects.
It was an unexpected margin by which the BJD won and unexpected development will take place he assured. Mrs Rita Sahu and all other senior leaders of the party ensured victory were present.
“All the assurances given by me during the election campaign will be carried out in letter and spirit” said CM while referring to the weaver community and the farmers.
“The love and affection of the people of the constituency have given extra strength to me”, he said. In an oblique reference to the BJP, CM said there is no scope for violence in politics.
He was implicitly referring to the attack on BJD workers in which one Dileswar Sahu had died during elections and the incident when a shoe was hurled at an election meet.
He also paid tribute to Sahu and expressed concern over such heinous electoral violence in a peaceful state like Odisha. Looking at the past experience, massive police arrangements were made in Barpali and police detained some BJP leaders as preventive measures.
Earlier during the day, CM arrived at Jharsuguda and dedicated the 167 km long Biju Expressway road to the people of the state constructed in the first phase from Sambalpur to Rourkela via Jharsuguda and Sundargarh town.
“With this connectivity, a new era of progress and prosperity will begin in Odisha connecting Western parts to that of the southern end with a total length of 650 km,” he said.
The Opposition Congress and BJP however criticised the CM. He had admitted that for 18 long years he had not thought of development of Bijepur since it had voted for the Congress, chided the Congress spokesperson L Mahapatra while the BJP pointed out that CM did not visit and console the bereaved family of farmers who had committed suicide in Bargarh.
The BJP also charged that the Biju Expressway road project was nothing but a old road being repaired and shown as a new project.