Bhubaneswar, Dec. 7: Stung by the concerted efforts of the Opposition to nail the government over the Tangarpada and Lanjigarh mining issues, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has decided to launch a statewide campaign to counter the pressure tactics.
The party will launch the campaign on December 26, its foundation day. The decision was taken last evening at a meeting of office-bearers, district presidents and chiefs of frontal organisations.
Besides organising rallies and public meetings, party workers would also distribute copies of a 12-page booklet in an attempt to take on the Opposition. Around 5 lakh copies have been printed so far.
The booklet is believed to contain a detailed account of the Tangarpada deal and has enough material to prove that chief minister Naveen Patnaik is innocent. It also lauds the achievements of the BJD-led government in the past five years.
The meeting also decided to organise block-level public meetings before Congress workers gherao the state secretariat on December 17. Party workers will be made aware of the Tangarpada and Vedanta controversies and apprised of how the Congress is trying to 'hoodwink the people' through false propaganda.
Addressing the meeting, Patnaik gave a detailed account of the industries, which would be set up in the near future, and called upon party workers to counter the attack launched by the Opposition. Some district presidents and office-bearers also took the opportunity to criticise BJD ministers for ignoring grassroots workers.
The Congress, as expected, was the target of much criticism. While some leaders said it should discuss the issue in the House instead of disrupting proceedings, the resolution stated that the Congress is acting in haste as it is wary of Patnaik's growing popularity in the state.
In a bid to end the mining impasse, the business advisory committee of the state Assembly yesterday decided to discuss the issue. But soon after the House assembled this morning, BJD member Debi Mishra objected to the Opposition-sponsored motion, calling it sub judice. Law minister Bishwa Bhusan Harichandan said since an appeal has been filed in the Supreme Court against, the matter could not be discussed.
When the Congress members protested, Speaker Maheswar Mohanty adjourned the House, seeking time to discuss the matter with advocate-general B.K. Mohanty and law department officials. However, since no decision could be taken, proceedings were disrupted a number of times.
At 6 pm, the Speaker finally adjourned the House till tomorrow morning.