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Naveen vow among camels, conches

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 26: Chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik today vowed to carry forth his party’s fight against the Centre and its neglect towards Orissa — the vow on which the regional outfit was founded a decade ago.

“We have been demanding our rightful due, we are not begging for the mercy of the Centre,” said Naveen, while addressing the public meeting and rally held here to mark BJD’s 10th anniversary.

Countering the Opposition allegation of neglect towards Orissa’s farmers, Naveen said his government was attaching highest priority to agriculture. He reminded some lakhs of supporters that a package of sops had been announced last year for the farmers, which had resulted an increase in yield in 2007. He repeated his assurance that not a drop of water, meant for irrigation, would be diverted to industries.

Besides, he promised that his government would renovate the Hirakud canal system at a cost of Rs 200 crore.

Senior leaders, including finance minister and party vice-president Prafulla Chandra Ghadei, secretary general Damodar Rout and MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra joined Naveen Patnaik in blaming the previous Congress regime for the continued backwardness of the state.

Most of the leaders repeatedly stressed that the BJD, under the leadership of Naveen, would form the government for the third consecutive term. Naveen hung on to his fund speech stating that more central funds were required to implement developmental and welfare schemes in the state.

Recently Naveen Patnaik and four chief ministers of mineral-rich states had demanded the allocation of mines for industries setting up plants in states. Reminding those congregated at the rally of the PM meeting, Naveen claimed that as a result of his government’s policy, which made value-addition mandatory, investment to the tune of Rs 4 lakh crore had been lined up for steel, aluminium and power plants in Orissa.

“I have also put forth our demands at various forums for grant of special category state status,” said Naveen.

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