Bhubaneswar, Dec 31 (LocalWire) The year 2018 has been a roller-coaster ride for Odisha with dramatic twists and turns in the political scenario.
Here are 10 important incidents that happened in Odisha in 2018:
1. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik suspended high-profile party MP Baijayant Panda in January for alleged anti-party activities.
2. BJD swept the Bijepur by-polls in Bargarh district in February by a landslide 56% votes.
3. In April, BJD candidates Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Prashanta Nanda and Dr Achyuta Samanta were elected uncontested to Rajya Sabha from Odisha, replacing party colleagues Dilip Tirkey, AU Singh Deo and BJD-backed independent candidate AV Swami.
4. April was significant for the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) too, who appointed Niranjan Patnaik as its president. He took over from Prasad Harichandan.
5. Heavyweight politician and former Minister Dr Damodar Rout was ousted from the BJD in September for his alleged satirical remarks about the party.
6. Former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi took a voluntary retirement from government service to join joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in November.
7. The BJP in Odisha received a jolt with two of its high-profile leaders – former Union Minister Dilip Ray and national executive member Bijoy Mohapatra – leaving the party. Mohapatra alleged infighting as his reason to quit, while Ray said his decision was due to Centre’s negligence towards construction of second bridge over Brahmani river and upgradation of Rourkela’s Ispat General Hospital (IGH) into a super specialty one.
8. Former Union Minister Srikant Jena was replaced by OPCC vice-president Ganeswar Behera as the chairman of its poll manifesto committee.
9. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) met his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Dec 23, where the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo became quite vocal about the need for a Third Front before the 2019 General Elections, while Patnaik remained indecisive.
10. Prime Minister and BJP strongman Narendra Modi visited Odisha on Dec 24 to launch projects worth Rs 14,523 cr in the state, besides, inaugurating IIT Bhubaneswar campus, Lalitgiri museum and laying foundation stone for a permanent building of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Berhampur.
He also released a commemorative coin and postage stamp in memory of Paika Rebellion and addressed a public rally at Khurda where he attacked Patnaik for his misgovernance in the state.