Growing Discontent Among Local Odias Against Incumbent BJD Government for favoring non-Odias Ahead of Elections


Bhubaneswar, 08/01/24 (TBN)
As the election season looms closer, a rising sentiment of discontent among local Odias against the ruling BJD (Biju Janata Dal) government has gained momentum. Concerns about neglect and deprivation of opportunities for native Odias have sparked a growing chorus of dissatisfaction within the state.

Amidst the impending elections, voices from the local Odia community have amplified their grievances, accusing the incumbent BJD government of sidelining their interests. Allegations center around claims of neglect, corruption and a lack of patronage for the native populace in employment, awarding construction tenders and promoting non-Odia entrepreneurs.

The growing chorus of discontent resonates with the perception that opportunities and benefits meant for the local Odia population have allegedly been redirected and given away to non odias. Such sentiments have intensified discussions and debates within the state’s political landscape and media.

Critics argue that the government’s policies and decisions have not adequately prioritized the welfare and empowerment of local Odias. Concerns extend to issues related to employment, resource allocation, and overall development, where the perceived favoritism towards non-Odias has sparked discontent among the locals.
Between 2016 to 2022, Government tenders of works, Public Health and Irrigation departments above a whooping 1 lakh crore rupees have been awarded to contractors and companies outside Odisha. Where ad sublets or petty works are goven to local contractors and companies. This information was revealed by Pradip Pradhan an eminent RTI activist and Secretary General of a-newly formed political Party ‘ Mo Dal’, “ promote the Outside companies and destroy the local entrepreneurs is a strategy by the ruling BJD government, their agenda is to weaken the local economy by promoting non-Odias so that it becomes easier for BJD to rule the state, says Pradip Pradhan. The situation in Industry and Employment sectors is even more precarious. Local Odias youths are denied jobs by private industries. They prefer to recruit outsiders then employ Odia youths.

As the election fervor escalates, the narrative of neglect and deprivation faced by local Odias has become a pivotal talking point. This discontentment is gradually shaping public discourse and influencing the pre-election dialogue, setting the stage for potential shifts in political dynamics within Odisha. The Pradesh Congress Committee is trying to fan the discontent with aggressive and divisive narratives and sloganeering. The newly appointed party observer Dr Ajoy Kumar raised the issue during his recent two day visit to the state. “ Odisha is for the Odias, by the Odias, nad of the Odias”, said Dr Ajoy Kumar.

With the elections on the horizon, the amplified chorus of discontent among local Odias stands as a critical factor that could influence the electoral landscape and policy discussions, prompting a closer examination of the incumbent BJD government’s approach towards catering to the aspirations and needs of the state’s indigenous population. Allegations suggest that job opportunities and construction tenders are reportedly being favorably awarded to non-Odias, significantly impacting the local populace’s livelihoods.

Native Odia youth, seeking employment prospects in various sectors, have raised grievances over the allocation of jobs to individuals from outside the state. This trend has reportedly limited the opportunities available to them within their own region, leading to frustration and disillusionment among the local workforce.

Moreover, small entrepreneurs and businesses, predominantly led by native Odias, are facing challenges in securing construction tenders. The alleged preference for non-Odia entities in tender allocations has created hurdles for local businesses, inhibiting their growth and sustainability within the competitive market.

Several voices from within the native Odia community have voiced their concerns, highlighting the need for equitable opportunities and a level playing field within the state. They stress the importance of supporting local talent and businesses to foster economic growth and development within Odisha.
The situation remains dynamic as discussions and debates continue regarding the distribution of employment and tenders within the state. This issue has sparked a larger conversation about the balance between inviting external expertise and safeguarding the interests and opportunities for native Odia residents and businesses under the current administration.

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