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Naveen Patnaik criticises Centre for anti-Orissa policies

Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: Student politics took to the centre stage in Orissa when thousands of college students from different parts of the State took part in a meeting organised by the students' wing of the ruling Biju Janata Dal here on Sunday.

Holding party flags and banners, the students walked into the meeting venue to hear the speeches of a host of leaders belonging to the different wings of the ruling party.

Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik was the star attraction at the rally when he called upon the 10,000-odd students gathered at the rally to inform the people at large about the initiatives that his government had taken for the overall development of the State.

Interestingly, the Biju Chhatra Janata Dal, the students' wing of the regional party, organised the rally ahead of the possible visit of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to the State. Mr. Gandhi is likely to interact with college students in the State on Tuesday.

Call to students

In his address, the Chief Minister urged the students to raise their voice against the Centre's anti-Orissa policies, and blocking the industrial projects to create hurdles in the State's development.

Mr. Patnaik blamed the Centre for not revising royalty on various minerals thereby causing huge loss of revenue to the State.

The money collected from mineral royalty could have been utilised in the poverty alleviation programmes of the State government, Mr. Patnaik said.

He also criticised the Centre for allowing the Polavaram irrigation project of Andhra Pradesh government and allegedly blocking the several mega industrial projects in the name of environment protection.

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