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BJP conspiring to sell off Chilika lake: Naveen

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 20, 2019  | 00:12 IST

(Eds: Reissues ELX65 with correction in headline, intro) Bhubaneswar, Apr 19 (PTI) BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday accused the BJP of conspiring to sell off the Chilika lake and claimed that falsehood is the saffron party's biggest asset. Describing BJP leaders as "seasonal birds", Patnaik said these leaders do not visit the state during calamities or when people are in trouble. "The BJP government at the Centre had conspired to sell the Chilika. My government stopped it," Patnaik said. He said this in reference to the Centre's plan to set up a water aerodrome in Asia's largest brackish water lake. Noting that Chilika provides livelihood of thousands of fishermen, the chief minister claimed that the Centre is trying to take away their livelihood by disturbing the ecosystem of the lake. "The Chilika is our mother, our pride. As long as I am alive, I will ensure that biodiversity of the lake remains intact," the BJD president said while addressing election meetings in Puri Lok Sabha constituency. Criticising the BJP leaders for allegedly making false promises during elections, Patnaik said, "Falsehood and lies are big assets of the BJP. On the other hand, the blessings of 4.5 crore people of the state are big assets of my party." Referring to the Centre's Coastal Highway project, Patnaik said the BJP planned to demolish thousands of houses for this project. "When we proposed the Centre to change the coastal highway roadmap, they did not agree," Patnaik said adding that if that plan is executed, a large number of people will be displaced. "We want new road. But the BJP wants to widen old highways by destroying lakhs of consolidated land," Patnaik alleged. He charged the central government with stopping the disbursement of the two instalments of KALIA scheme to the farmers. In the afternoon, the BJD president hit the street on a road show beginning from the Shree Jagannath temple after a darshan of the deities. PTI AAM NN CK

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