Berhampur (Odisha), Jan 10: Facing criticism for alleged irregularities in selection of beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and the spate of farmers' suicides in Odisha, the ruling BJD has launched a drive to highlight its achievements.
As part of the programme, the party held a public meeting 'Biju Bikash Samabesh' yesterday at Patapur about 45km from here to mark the birth centenary of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, BJD MLA S N Patro, who presided over the meeting said.
The 'Samabesh' would be held across the state during the year, he added. Addressing the meet, ministers, MPs, MLAs and party functionaries of the district publicised the welfare measures undertaken by the state government and accused the Centre of "meting out step-motherly treatment" to Odisha.
The speakers also criticised Congress. However BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who represents Hinjili of Ganjam district, was conspicuous by his absence.
"The BJD government is working for all sections of the society including children, students, youths, farmers and elderly persons. The government is working for making the dreams of Biju Babu a reality", forest minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said.
Higher education minister Pradeep Panigrahy, women and child development minister Usha Devi and senior MLA of Kabisuryanagar, Sugyan Kumari Deo also addressed the meeting.
Most of the speakers, however, were silent on the ration card scam, on which the party was facing severe criticism by the opposition Congress and BJP.
BJD's public meeting at Patapur under Sanakhemundi Assembly segment assumes significance as the Congress had held a padayatra from Adapada to Patapur on November 30.