10 August 2019
Bhubaneswar: As Odisha Government has this time changed the venue of State Level Independence Day Celebration venue from the traditional Mahatma Gandhi Marg to IDCO Exhibition Ground and also the march past has been cancelled for the first time, opposition BJP has criticized it while ruling BJD has dubbed it as highly unfortunate and petty politics.
Countering Odisha BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan’s comments, Rajya Sabha member-cum-BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra through a press release stated, “In a democracy it is always expected that the states follow the national model especially in National Day celebrations such as Independence Day and Republic Day. Republic Day is parade based in Delhi and Independence Day is speech based. In the Republic Day the President takes the salute from the armed forces parade and the Prime Minister delivers the speech from the Red Fort on Independence Day.”
He added, “Odisha similarly was contemplating following the national model. Therefore from this year, Odisha will be following the national model of having speech-based format by the Chief Minister as it is I Delhi by the Prime Minister. But unfortunately, the BJP and its leader Prithviraj Harichandan have not been able to understand the national model and Odisha’s intention of following the national model. If they are unaware about the national model of Independence Day, since their party’s Government is in power in Delhi, they can find out about the model.”
He also argued, “This year marks the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and in order to commemorate his role in the freedom struggle and also the role of Odisha in the freedom struggle of India for independence, the Government is undertaking exhibitions on a bigger scale at the Exhibition Ground. Therefore, the Exhibition Ground in Bhubaneswar is the best venue in this regard.”
“However, the BJP and its leader Prithviraj Harichandan indulging in petty politics on such sensitive matters such as the Independence Day celebration is highly unfortunate. Instead of playing politics, BJP and Mr Harichandan should support Chief Minister Naveen Patnaikji’s suggestion of incorporating the ‘AHIMSA’ concept of Mahatma Gandhi in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution as well as be signatories to the one lakh signature campaign that is being undertaken to exert demand to introduce the same in the Preamble of the Constitution,” the BJP spokesperson exhorted.
Earlier in the day, senior BJP Odisha general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan in his media reactions had stated, “We would like question the Government of Odisha why it changed the precedence of 72 years. Firstly, the parade venue has been changed while the second one is most significant. The mass parade has been cancelled this time. Why has such changes been made?”
“We have come to know from unreliable sources that the Chief Minister is unable to take the salute for a long period and thus, the decision has been taken by the Government. If it true, it is extremely unfortunate,” he has remarked.