With days to go before the announcement of election schedule, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik kicked off a poll campaign, "Ghare Ghare Shankha", (conch at every home) Tuesday, on the occasion of his father and legendary leader Biju Patnaik's 103rd birth anniversary.
Conch is the symbol of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Mr Patnaik urged people to come forward with their grievances and opinions, assuring them that some of their demands might be included in the party's poll manifesto.
Assembly poll is likely to be held in Odisha along with the parliamentary elections. "Put up conch shells at every household (ghare ghare shankha lagantu) and step forward to air your opinions and grievances. The BJD will include some of the demands in their poll manifesto in its attempt to expedite development in the state," the CM said after launching the campaign from Kantilo village in Khurda district, 22km from the state capital.
The party had said on Monday that its workers would collect feedback from all 86 lakh families in the state, which would then be included in the poll manifesto.
Meanwhile, leaders cutting across party lines paid tribute to former chief minister Biju Patnaik Tuesday. Odisha's sports and youth affairs department organised the annual mini-marathon on the occasion, which was attended by scores of people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to remember the political icon. "Remembering Biju Babu on his Jayanti. His noteworthy efforts for Odisha's development continue to be cherished by generations. He undertook numerous measures for empowerment of the poor and marginalised during his long years in public service," the PM tweeted.
Biju Patnaik served twice as the chief minister of Odisha - from 1961 to 1963 and from 1990 to 1995. He was widely credited with developing an industrial base in Orissa. The legendary leader died on April 17, 1997, in New Delhi.