Bhubaneswar: Claiming that Odia people are being deprived of getting employment opportunities at the IOCL, Paradip refinery, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra today said that Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan should take measures to protect the interest of Odias.Mohapatra, a bitter critic of Pradhan, also wrote a letter to the Minister seeking his intervention.
The outburst of Mohapatra assumed significance as Pradhan has been on the target of ruling BJD for poor job opportunities for Odias at the refinery.
However, Mohaptra’s allegation was immediately countered by the BJP and the Union Minister himself. Pradhan when asked by media persons on Mohapatra’s charge satirically said that the latter’s proposal is a good one.
Reacting to the coastal leader’s charges BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra clarified that, more number of Odias are getting employment in the refinery than any other Central projects in the State. Keeping data to substantiate his claim, Golak informed that, among 529 executive posts in the refinery 90 have gone to Odias which is around 20%. Similarly, in non-executive posts out of total 346, 166 have gone to aspirants from the State, he added. But the list does not end there, even among contract labourers engaged in the refinery, out of total 5123 the share of Odia workers stands at 4475, the BJP spokesperson added further.
However, keeping a balanced view on Bijoy’s allegations and demand, Dharmendra said that the proposal of the veteran leader is a good one.
The former Patkura MLA’s alleged earlier in the day that, despite tall claims of employment generation and development of the State after setting up of Paradip IOCL refinery, no such things are happening. Writing a letter to Union Petroleum Minister today, he appealed him to look into the matter and make necessary arrangements for absorption of more Odias by the refinery.