The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha will hold its foundation day silver jubilee function in a big way in Puri on December 26 to strengthen the rank and file of the party for the next state Assembly and Lok Sabha election in 2024.
The regional party which is headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and is in power in Odisha since 2000 could not celebrate its foundation day function last year due to Covid pandemic, so the top leadership has decided to celebrate the silver jubilee celebration in a big way in Puri, BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said after a meeting at Naveen Niwas, the residence of Patnaik on Sunday.
"BJD could not celebrate the foundation day function properly last year due to the pandemic, so our party president has given his approval for the function to be held in Puri on December 26," Mishra said.
Noting that the BJD during its 25th years of existence has become a "mass movement" instead of being just a political outfit, another party vice-president Prasanna Acharya said that all office-bearers comprising from the state to district and block units and elected representatives will participate in the function in Puri. Patnaik will address the meeting and show roadmaps for the party for the future.
He said the BJD foundation day would also be held in all Assembly constituencies in next 15 days.
The Biju Janata Dal was founded on December 26, 1997. It was named after legendary leader Biju Patnaik who is the father of Naveen Patnaik.
The BJD first formed the government in alliance with the BJP in the state and it continued till 2009.
"The Puri function is likely to see the launch of BJD’s poll campaign for the next general elections which is due in 2024," a party insider said.
Meanwhile, hit by back to back poll debacles in the state, Opposition Congress on Sunday also announced to launch a mass contact programme titled "haat se haat milao" (join hands) from January 26, 2023.
The aim is to highlight the "failure" of the BJP led central government and BJD government in Odisha, said A Chella Kumar, AICC general secretary in-charge of Odisha. He accused both the parties of misleading the people of Odisha in different ways.
The Congress leader said the party will reach out to every household to with a "chargesheet" against the BJP-led central government and the BJD government in Odisha.
Dubbing both the BJP and the BJD as two sides of the same coin, Chella Kumar said the aim is to rejuvenate Congress in Odisha by telling people about the reasons of their sufferings due to "failure" of both the BJP and the BJD.
On the recently concluded Padampur Assembly bypoll where Congress candidate Satya Bhusan Sahu lost his security deposit, Chella Kumar said that people know how BJP won in Dhamnagar and BJD in Padampur. "No democratic norm was followed in both the recently concluded by-polls," he said.
The Congress leader accused the BJD of blatantly "misusing" government machinery to win elections.
He also accused the BJP led central government of not taking action against BJD leaders allegedly involved in the mining and chit fund scams in Odisha.
Leader of Opposition Jay Narayan Mishra of BJP said the saffron party has already prepared road maps to "expose" the BJD in coming days. He also alleged that Congress leaders were hand in glove with the BJD people.