**Bhubaneswar: ** As the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has backed out of Odisha Government’s ambitious ‘Make In Odisha’ Conclave, ruling BJD suspects it to be the handiwork of BJD suspended Kendrapada MP Baijayant Jay Panda’s wife Jagi Mangat Panda.
Convening a press meet at BJD headquarters on Wednesday, BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said, “We had taken CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) as our (BJD Government in Odisha) partner. CII had also approved of it and had partnered with us. Following our joint venture, Make In Odisha programme was held. On February 14, 2018, Smt Rita Karmakar from CII had appointed coordinator with our government. That letter is with us. Amid such development, a letter was received all of a sudden from CII on April 4 that due to their prior engagement they could not be able to be our government’s partner.”
He added, “Hence, suspicion obviously arose because the very CII used to attend all the meetings and also had appointed their Coordinator for Odisha, but on April 4 the same CII in its letter has reasoned out that they could not be able to be our government’s partner for prior appointment.”
“Our needle of suspicion first arose here on the timing of the CII’s pretext of prior engagement. Were they not well aware of their prior engagement? The second needle of suspicion hovers over Smt Jagi Mangat Panda, wife of our Kendrapada MP. Hasn’t this (CII back out) been under her pressure as she has become the CII’s eastern region chairperson in March?” the BJD spokesperson questioned.
On the contrary, Jagi Mangat Panda in her media statement said, “I urge BJD not to drag me to politics. As Baijayant Panda is directly involved in politics, you (BJD) can do politics dragging his name.”
“For the last 25 years, I’ve been into business in Odisha and our industry has provided opportunities to 3000 persons. My good wishes for Odisha industry will be forever. In the capacity of CII Eastern zone Chairperson, I’ll extend my full support to Make In Odisha so that Make In Odisha becomes a successful venture. And so far the question has been raised yesterday, I appeal to contact the Odisha office of CII or the national office for clarification,” she averred.
In his media reactions, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit stated, “Has the Odisha Government any vision? The State Government is simply spending from the State coffers on Make In Odisha while various projects like Posco, Jindal are withdrawing from the State. Projects of thousands of crores are not working here. The State Government has failed in this (Make In Odisha) venture despite crores of rupees spent from the State exchequer. If anyone withdraws, will development get stalled and Make In Odisha fail? Odisha Government is habituated in blaming others. By doing this, the State Government is trying to avert blame and escaping from being answerable to the people of Odisha for its failure. That’s why the State Government is blaming Jagi Panda.”
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