Naveen Patnaik visits Balangir amid Heavy Protests
By Himanshu Guru, Balangir: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today visited Balangir to lay foundation stone of the 125 bedded M.C.H. centre in the H.Q. Hospital, the piped water supply at Gandhi Nagar and the overhead tank near circuit house and to inaugurate the B.N.R.G.S.K. building at the Balangir Block campus.
After the CM’s arrival at the R.N. Singhdeo Sports Complex Helipad in Balangir, the meeting started at 12 noon. This was Patnaik’s first public meeting after his coronation as the BJD President. The guests present on the dais were Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Balangir MLA Sri A U Singhdeo, Balangir MP Kalikesh Singhdeo, State Council member Arkesh Singhdeo, Abhi Kushal from Sonepur, Titilagarh Ex-MLA Yogendra Behera and others.
MP Kalikesh Singhdeo conducted the meeting and assured in his speech that the Lower Suktel Project will definitely be worked out. He criticized the opposition telling that, they were making fool the public that the Rs. 2/ kg rice scheme will be vanished soon after the election. But now we have come up with Re. 1/ Kg rice scheme to the BPL and APL holders. But in return, the central govt. gave us Rs. 80/Kg Dal.
The MP further said that he had approached the PM along with all MPs of Odisha to allot more funds to the state but the PM denied it citing scarcity of money. Singhdeo argued that when their People are swallowing hundreds of thousands of rupees in 2G and 3G scams, how come they show scarcity of money. He also requested the CM to provide a special package for Balangir district.
Balangir MLA A.U. Singhdeo said in his speech, said that Naveen Patnaik has a soft corner towards Balangir, hence he attended the first public meeting soon after his coronation as the BJD President. He also conveyed his expectation to see Patnaik as the PM of India. He argued that when Narendra Modi aspires to become PM after becoming the CM for the fourth time, why not Patnaik should become the PM, when he has been elected for three terms and heading towards the fourth.
About the proposed Medical College issue he said that the state govt. had called for tender on three occasions to complete the Medical College but failed. He further said that proposal has been sent for the ring road to the NH Authorities and now the second source for water supply will be inaugurated to meet the water scarcity in Balangir.
About the Lower Suktel Project Singhdeo said that 99.9 % people of Balangir want the project but due to the protest by some people the same has not been completed and we are ready to talk to them if there is any problem. He assured that the project will be completed, which will increase ground water level in the region and people will avail benefit.
Interestingly, Naveen Patnaik delivered his speech completely in Odia though he read over his script. He slammed the Centre, saying though the East Coast Railway is getting crores of rupees from the state as revenue, still it is not providing the required communication facilities. He also assured to provide more than 100 days of work to the rural poor in lieu of the MGNREGA scheme.
The other speakers in this meeting were Abhi Sahu from Titlagarh, Muribahal block Ex-Chairman Gopaa Mahanand, Harekrishna Sadangi and others.
After the meeting, Patnaik headed towards the Head Quarter Hospital to lay the foundation stone for the 125 bedded M.C.H. Centre. But Congress workers tried to show black flag to the Chief Minister near the Hospital while protesting against the increasing rate of crime in Balangir and raising other issues. But it led to a minor law and order situation and the Police had to go for lathi-charge to control the mob. As per reports, two Congress leaders are severely injured in this scuffle.