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Congress unity call to oust BJD

Congress leaders with state president Niranjan Patnaik (third from left) at Jeypore on Wednesday. Telegraph pictures

Koraput: The general election may be a year away, but the Congress seems to be over enthusiastic with its newly-appointed state president Niranjan Patnaik.

In his maiden visit to Jeypore on Wednesday after getting the party chief's assignment, Patnaik urged the party workers to fight unitedly to throw away the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government in the state.

"The present BJD government is in neck-deep corruption. It's has been 18 years since the BJD assumed power in the state and 18 years is a long period to develop a state. But list of corruption is more than the list of achievements," he said, while addressing a gathering of around 20,000 party workers at Jeypore.

"The BJD is in power as the Opposition was weak. If we fight unitedly there are every chances of Congress forming the government in the state in 2019," he added.

As chief minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the second phase of Mahanadi Surakhya Yatra from Sukhasoda in Jharsuguda district on Wednesday, the Congress chief slammed the state government for "enacting drama" over the Mahanadi issue.

"In past 18 years, the state government did nothing to save Mahanadi. Now as the general election is less than a year away, they are trying to exploit people's sentiments with Save Mahanadi drama," he said.

Earlier in the day, Patnaik, along with AICC Odisha in-charge Jitendra Singh, leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, Congress whip and Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati and several Congress leaders, took out a huge motorcycle rally in the town involving more than 3,000 party workers.

"The BJD is in the power in the state with false promises and bogus development propaganda. The state government has miserably failed in almost all sectors, including health, education and irrigation. I urge you to dislodge the state government in the coming election," said Singh, while speaking on the occasion.

Bahinipati said: "Law and order has collapsed in the state and women are most unsafe. Each day, rape of minors and women are being reported and the chief minister is solely responsible for this."

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