With an eye on the 2017 panchayat polls in Odisha, the ruling Biju Janata Dal kicked off a ten-day Jansampark Padyatra on Friday.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the padyatra, which aims to sensitise people about the development schemes undertaken by his government, from Ganganagarpalli in Bhubaneswar. State ministers Arun Sahu and Jogendra Behera, however, had to face opposition from Congress workers while flagging off the padyatra in different parts of the state.
Naveen, who had not uttered anything against the Narendra Modi government for the past one year, slammed the Centre on Friday for “neglecting” the state.
He added that despite the Centre “slashing funding” to Odisha, his government would continue schemes like the subsidised rice programme.
At Kalahandi, Congress workers pelted eggs at law and panchayatiraj minister Arun Sahu while he was on his way to take part in the padyatra after launching the distribution of digitised ration cards cards under the NFSA in the district.
The agitators were demanding government college status for Sardar Rajas Medical College at Jaring.
Coinciding with BJD’s padyatra, the opposition BJP staged a ‘Satyagraha’ in 147 assembly constituencies across the State. President of BJP’s state unit K V Singhdeo questioned why Odisha, which used to have surplus power, was now reeling under power cuts.