MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

BJD: No longer lenient on BJP, party to be 'assertive' in Parliament without aligning with INDIA bloc

The decision to play the role of an effective Opposition was taken at the party’s parliamentary board meeting chaired by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 25.06.24, 06:07 AM
Naveen Patnaik with the BJD’s Rajya Sabha members in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

Naveen Patnaik with the BJD’s Rajya Sabha members in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Sourced by The Telegraph

The BJD has decided to make a significant shift in its approach towards the BJP by “abandoning” its “past leniency” and adopting a more assertive stance as an Opposition force in Parliament, without aligning with the INDIA bloc.

The decision to play the role of an effective Opposition was taken at the party’s parliamentary board meeting chaired by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik.

ADVERTISEMENT

Addressing the meeting at Naveen Niwas on Monday, Patnaik said: “Be the voice of 4.5 crore people of Odisha in Parliament. We will be a very strong and vibrant Opposition and will make the Centre accountable on all issues. The BJD MPs will raise all the issues about the state’s development and the welfare of the people of Odisha.

“Many just and rightful demands of Odisha haven’t been met. We must ensure that those demands are met in the right earnest by the Centre. We have got a bitter lesson in the last general election. We will no longer be lenient towards the BJP and whatever is required to fulfil the demands of the state will be done,” Patnaik said.

Despite lacking representation in the Lok Sabha, the BJD holds nine seats in the Rajya Sabha, positioning itself to play a crucial role in voting and crises.

Sasmit Patra, the party’s national spokesperson, affirmed their commitment to voicing Odisha’s concerns in Parliament, promising protests if the state’s interests are overlooked.

Patra told The Telegraph: “The Rajya Sabha session begins on July 27. We don’t have numbers in Lok Sabha. But all the nine MPs of the BJD will be the voice of the people of Odisha in Parliament.”

He added: “If the interests of Odisha are being sidestepped, we will lodge protests by standing on our seats. We will even storm into the well of the House if required. All these things will be done keeping the state’s larger interest into consideration.”

Regarding floor strategies, Patra remained non-committal on coordinating with the INDIA bloc or non-allied parties, citing the party’s reservations about working with the Congress but expressing openness to collaboration with other parties in the bloc.

“Khela hobe,” said a Trinamool Congress leader when asked how the BJD’s decision would play out in Parliament.

The BJD outlined several key issues it plans to raise in Parliament, including securing special category status for Odisha, completing national highway projects and providing housing under various schemes. They also seek the establishment of central schools in every block, Ekalvya residential schools in scheduled areas and AIIMS in Balasore, Sambalpur and Koraput.

It has also demanded immediate construction of a capital ring road and the coastal highway. The other demands include the exemption of GST on kendu leaves, adequate supply of fertilisers to farmers. For the rapid industrialisation of the state, it would continue to demand more MSME parks, textile parks and industrial corridors.

It would also raise the demand for implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report on giving MSP on paddy to farmers.

“The delayed payments of Fasal Bima to farmers of Odisha because of the Centre’s neglect and profiteering by insurance companies is causing great pain to the farmers of Odisha. The BJD would demand timely and just payments of Fasal Bima to farmers of the state,” a BJD press release said.

“It would further demand fixing MSP for one quintal of paddy in line with the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. Though the BJP has promised to give MSP at 3,100 it has failed to implement it so far,” the release said.

The party has also decided to raise the issue of coal royalty, which has not been increased for the past 10 years. “This is causing great loss to the people of Odisha who are deprived of their rightful share of using it in their development,” the party said.

The BJD would also demand immediate implementation of the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state Assemblies.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT