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Rail budget grouse

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 27: The BJD and Left parties today staged protests at several railway stations across the state to protest alleged negligence to Odisha in the 2013-14 railway Budget.

BJD activists staged protest demonstrations at various rail stations, while CPI workers staged a rail blockade at Bhubaneswar station.

Activists of the BJD youth wing demonstrated near the Bhubaneswar railway Station and criticised the Centre for its “step-motherly attitude” towards Odisha. They threatened to intensify the protest.

“We protest the Centre’s anti-Odisha attitude that was reflected in the Union railway Budget. All the people of the state will oppose this Budget that deprives Odisha of its right. We will stage such protests across the state,” said BJD youth wing president Sanjay Dasbarma.

He said that keeping an eye on rapid industrialisation, eradication of Maoist activities, better connectivity among ports and development of tourism the state government had demanded an allocation of Rs 3,050 crore in the 2013-14 railway Budget, but the Centre allocated just Rs 868.82 crore, which would not help the state’s cause.

CPI activists in Bhubaneswar, led by state secretary Dibakar Nayak, took out a rally from their state head office to the railway station and sat on the rail track in front of Rajdhani Express, which was delayed for around 30 minutes.

The BJD activists and leaders in Cuttack staged a silent dharna at the local railway station. The BJD leaders rued that though Odisha was contributing revenue of more than Rs 14,000 crore to the Indian Railways, the Union government had been neglecting the state repeatedly.