Patnaik releases BJD manifesto, promises sops for all

Bhubaneswar, March 29: The Biju Janata Dal’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections as well as Odisha assembly elections, released by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday, had sops for almost all sections of people.

Reading the highlights of the manifesto, the 67-year-old Patnaik, who is seeking his fourth consecutive term as chief minister, said that if voted back to power, his government will provide assistance to make all the makeshift houses in the state permanent structures.

A shelter security mission would be established, he said, adding his government will take steps to make all village roads concrete.

Areas with population of 1,000 will be declared as a panchayat and its headquarters will have high mast lighting and a community hall, he added.

Patnaik, who is also the BJD chief, said farmers would be provided crop loans at one percent interest rate, and women self help groups would also be given loans at the same rate.

The chief minister said if he is voted to power again, his government will come out with a progressive women policy for the improvement of their status in the state.

Among many others, Patnaik also announced that his government will enact its own food security law and take steps to ensure food security to people under below and above poverty line and others.

He said small traders and street vendors would be registered and subsidy linked loans would be provided. Steps would be taken to cover them under all social security schemes.

Villages and people who give land for the industries will not only be paid compensation but will also be made share holder of the concerned industries.

“We believe in work. What we promise we will do more than that,” he said.

The opposition parties however termed the announcements as eyewash.

“The BJD manifesto is an eyewash. In the last election they had promised that they will provide at least 35 percent irrigation in every block but they failed to do so,” said senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said that the BJD “have not fulfilled the promises they had given in the previous elections. The latest promise they will never be able to fulfil”.

Elections to state’s 21 Lok Sabha seats and the 147-member state assembly would be held simultaneously in two phases April 10 and 17.

IANS