Bhawanipatna: Amid protests by Opposition BJP and Congress, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday visited Kalahandi district and launched the distribution of Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) Smart Health Cards smoothly.
The Opposition parties held demonstrations in several parts of the State including Bhubaneswar, Kalahandi and Sambalpur demanding the removal of Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra over the Mamita Meher murder case.
The Chief Minister landed at the OUAT college ground here at 11 AM and distributed health cards to the beneficiaries.
Distributing smart cards to the people, Patnaik said a total of 14 lakh people will be benefited from the smart cards in the district.
The Chief Minister said that today Kalahandi has been making great strides in all areas. Stating that he came to Kalahandi in June to inaugurate the Indravati Lift Canal project, he added that today 68 percent of the district’s land is irrigated.
He said in the field of fisheries, the district has received a national award and it is the highest cotton-producing district and during the current year, cotton farmers are getting a good price.
The Chief Minister said Kalahandi has now turned into an education hub with agriculture, engineering colleges and polytechnics. Work on the medical college is in progress and it will operate soon, he said.
He also digitally inaugurated 201 different projects valued at Rs 179 crore and laid foundation stones for 48 developmental projects valued at Rs 680 crore of Kalahandi district and addressed the gathering.
The Chief Minister said that works are on in Kalahandi for infrastructure development. Stating that projects worth Rs 2500 crore have been started to provide drinking water to all villages.
Stating that Kalahandi University, Kalahandi Government Engineering College, Government Agricultural College have created opportunities for the children of Kalahandi, Patnaik added that the construction of a 100-seat government medical college in Kalahandi is nearing completion.
For the first time after the incident, Mishra shared dais with the Chief Minister. Addressing the meeting, Mishra praised the State Government for taking steps for overall development of the districts. However, he remained silent on the murder case.
Meanwhile, protests by the Opposition continued in the State. While BJP workers brought out a massive rally in the capital demanding immediate dismissal of Mishra from the ministry, BJD and BJP workers clashed outside the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) at Sambalpur.
Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo and Skill Development and Technical Education Minister Premanand Nayak faced protests from Opposition workers at Kesinga and Karlamunda while distributing smart health cards. BJP and Congress protestors held demonstrations at the Karlamunda block office and locked up the office when Minister Nayak was there inside.
Similarly, Sahoo also faced the wrath of the Opposition protests when he was distributing the smart cards at Kesinga in the district. Police arrested several BJP workers when they staged demonstrations at the venue.
Moreover, the BJP activists hurled eggs at the vehicle of Woman and Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahu near Nurla, when she was returning from the Chief Minister’s programme.
In view of the CM’s programme, tight police security was made in different strategic locations in Bhawanipatna town. Several opposition party workers have been detained as a preventive measure.
It is to be noted that the Chief Minister had announced the distribution of smart health cards to the BSKY beneficiaries on the occasion of Independence Day this year. He has already launched the distribution of smart health cards in Malkangiri, Sundergarh, Bolangir, Gajapati, Puri and Mayurbhanj in six phases.