Naveen appeals to people to further strengthen the party in elections

After the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will play a key role in the non-Congress and non-communal political equation in national politics, said the BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

In his addresses at public meetings during his visit to his home district Ganjam on Monday, Mr Patnaik reiterated that his party would fare too well on its own in Odisha in coming Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

It was his fourth visit to the Ganjam district during the last three weeks. During his visit on Monday, Mr Naveen Patnaik targeted Sanakhemundi Assembly constituency, the only Assembly segment in Ganjam district from where the Congress has won.

At the public meeting held at Patapur in Sanakhemundi Assembly segment, a group of Congress workers, including some elected panchayat body members, joined the BJD. It was a show of strength by the BJD in Sanakhemundi area as the public meeting was attended by State Ministers Surya Narayan Patra and Bikram Keshari Arukh, Aska MP Nityananda Pradhan, Rajya Sabha MP Renibala Pradhan and some MLAs.

At Patapur, Mr Patnaik called upon the common people to strengthen the BJD further and added that the regional party had stood with the people of Odisha for the past 14 years. The BJD leaders hinted that the party wanted to contest from the Sanakhemundi Assembly segment in the coming polls.

It may be noted that during the last Assembly polls, the BJD had left this seat to the CPI as per electoral alliance. State Ministers, Mr Patra and Mr Arukh who were with the BJD chief at Patapur, were of the opinion that it would be best bet for the party to contest from Sanakhemundi to defeat the Congress here.

At another public meeting at Bhismagiri in Digapahandi Assembly segment, the Chief Minister urged the voters of Odisha to provide the BJD a greater mandate in coming polls.

Mr Patnaik said after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls a non-Congress and non-BJP political equation would gain strength in national politics. He was hopeful that the BJD which has kept equal distance from the Congress and the BJP would play a key role in it. He therefore wanted better results in Lok Sabha polls. He did not forget to criticise the Congress for its alleged step-motherly attitude towards Odisha with the allegation that no Central Minister preferred to visit Odisha after the Phailin cyclone.

During his visit, the CM also laid foundation stones for a 33/11 KV power substation at Bhismagiri, a fire station building and drinking water supply project at Patapur, road development projects at Sanakhmeundi and a bridge over Kharkhari Nala near Khallikote.

He also attended the golden jubilee function at RCM Science College at Khallikote.