Asserting that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) does not have a “boss in Delhi”, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said that his party will continue to work for people of the state, and pledged to reduce its poverty rate to 10 per cent in the next five years.
Addressing party workers and leaders on BJD’s 25th foundation day, Mr Patnaik, in a virtual address, said that the party is accountable to the people of Odisha, who have turned the party into a social movement.
Attacking the state’s two main opposition national parties Congress and BJP, the chief minister said, “We (BJD) don’t have a boss in Delhi. Whatever we do is for the people of Odisha, who are our boss.” “Behind the success of BJD was the dream of the people for a prosperous and strong Odisha. The party will work for the next 100 years with the support of all residents of the state,” the regional outfit’s founding president said.
With BJD preparing for rural and urban elections early next year, Mr Patnaik said that the party has achieved success with the support of the people of Odisha.
“Born with the vision of the legendary Biju Patnaik, the BJD has now turned into a social movement. The party is a symbol of the trust and belief of 4.5 c rore people of Odisha,” he said.
Claiming that BJD is the only party whose popularity is growing with each passing day, he said that 1 crore of the 4.5 crore people of Odisha are its members.
Highlighting his government’s successes, the chief minister said that Odisha has undergone a sea of change since 2000 and the poverty rate of the state has come down from 63 per cent to 29 per cent and over 80 lakh people have been brought above the poverty line.
“Odisha will create history by further reducing the poverty rate to 10 per cent in the next five years. Our government will take all measures to achieve the goal,” he said.
Mr Patnaik said that in terms of food grain production, Odisha has become third in the country from primarily being a buyer from other states.
Giving credit to farmers for bumper crop production and ensuring Odisha’s food security, he said that this reflects the state government’s commitment towards expanding irrigation facilities.
He said that the BJD, which is in power in the state since 2000, has successfully managed natural calamities like cyclones.
“Odisha leads the country in disaster management, and has even been praised by United Nations and Niti Ayog among others for its exemplary work,” the chief minister said.
Noting that the welfare of women, SCs, STs and OBCs are his government’s priority, he said, “Odisha is providing 50 per cent reservation to women in panchayat and civic body elections. Over 70 lakh women have been empowered through Mission Shakti.” The chief minister said that during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation, Odisha has received investments worth Rs 4 lakh crore, which is the highest in the country.
“This has opened new employment opportunities for lakhs of youths,” he said.
Stressing the role of 5Ts (Transparency, Technology, Teamwork, Time and Transformation) of his government, Patnaik said this formula is taking every sector, from education to farming, to new heights.
The day was marked by celebrations in district and block levels. Senior party leaders, and members of women, youth and student wings participated in functions in various towns.
The events were also attended by panchayat presidents, block coordinators, zone coordinators, zone committee and panchayat committee members.
The party, named after former chief minister Biju Patnaik, was founded on December 26, 1997.