BJD set for massive show of strength in Odisha


CM Naveen Patnaik will lay foundation stone for India’s biggest hockey stadium coming up at Rourkela

The Biju Janata Dal is also set to display its massive strength in Sundargarh — a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold in Odisha — as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, his 17 Ministerial colleagues and 90 MLAs would be present across the length and breadth of the district.

Mr. Patnaik will lay the foundation stone for India’s biggest hockey stadium coming up at Rourkela. The State government has set a target to build the stadium with a capacity of 20,000 ahead of International Hockey Federation men’s World Cup in 2023.

The proposed hockey stadium will come up over 15 acres of land on the campus of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology.

Sundargarh, which is known for producing raw hockey talent, will also be having synthetic hockey turfs in each of its 17 Blocks. Ministers will be present at the Blocks to mark the occasion.

According to sources in the BJD, giant screens will beam the inauguration ceremonies live at 269 different panchayats, where arrangements have been made to accommodate 3,000 people each.

Apart from the hockey stadium, different projects such as drinking water supply units, and roads and buildings costing around ₹5,000 core, will be inaugurated and launched.

Last month, the BJD had deployed 69 MLAs and many Ministers in Kalahandi as the CM inaugurated a 43-km long irrigation project, which would irrigate over 25,000 hectares of farmland in 38 gram panchayats from the Upper Indravati project. The project was executed at an estimated investment of ₹2,085 crore. The Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat was won by BJP.

Political observers said the BJD was trying to strengthen its base in western Odisha ahead of the panchayat elections. A second such meeting is going to be held in the Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency won by veteran BJP leader Jual Oram.

Though Congress and BJP workers are likely to stage protests at different places along the road, the BJD expects to seize the momentum through massive public meetings.

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