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Bhubaneswar, Jan 28 (PTI) Terming the 12-year old BJD Bhubaneswar, Jan 28 (PTI) Terming the 12-year old BJDrule in Odisha as an era of corruption, lawlessness andinefficiency, Congress today vowed to strive for empoweringpanchayati raj institutions to make them true weapons ofself-governance at grassroot level. "Corruption is rampant and law and order situation isgrave amid alarming spurt in rape incidents as the BJD rule ismarked by inefficiency," Odisha Pradesh Congress CongressCommittee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik said releasing theparty manifesto for coming panchayat polls. Instead of devolving power to the people, the NaveenPatnaik government had made panchayati raj institutionspowerless due to concentration of power with bureaucrats andofficials, he alleged. Stating that common people would be benefited ifcorruption is wiped out, Patnaik said since Congress was notin power in Odisha it vowed to fight against corruption andwork for empowering panchayat bodies. Slamming the BJD government for spurt in Maoistviolence, it said only two districts of the state were hit byleft wing extremism 12 years ago, but now the number ofdistricts affected by Naxals had risen to 22. Though Congress being in opposition has a limitedrole to strengthen panchayat bodies it would step up the fightfor empowering them, he said. PTI SKN PR

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