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Naveen lays stone for Odia varsity, opposition needles him for not knowing Odia

Puri: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today laid the foundation stone for the proposed Odia University at Bakula Bana in Puri district even as opposition Congress and BJP targeted the former for not knowing the language of the State.

Earlier, the State Government had proposed a budget of Rs 10 crore to be spent for establishment of the university. At least 25-acres of land have also been earmarked for the purpose.

During a review meeting last month, Chief Minister Patnaik directed the officials to ensure not a single tree was felled for construction of the university.

The proposed varsity would offer post graduate courses in Odia language and literature, besides facilitating research in literary criticism, evolution of East Indian language scripts, historical scripts, archaeology and translation into and from Odia.

Set up by five iconic leaders – Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihar Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Pandit Godabarisha Mishra and Pandit Krupasindhu Mishra – popularly known as Pancha Sakha, the Bakula Bana Vidyalaya was known as an ideal centre of learning in pre-independence Odisha.

Higher Education Minister Anata Das, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, Puri MP Pinaki Misra and almost all the MLAs of Puri districts attended the foundation stone laying event.

On the other hand, opposition parties blasted the CM for not knowing the language of the State despite ruling the State for around 18 years.

In a press conference senior BJP lealder Biswabhusan Harichandan came down heavily on Patnaik saying the latter hasn’t been able to talk in Odia despite leading the Government for last 18 years.

He asked the CM should take a pledge that he should henceforth speak with the people of Odisha only in Odia.

Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik advised the CM to enrol in the proposed Odia university to learn the language.

“Translation for you @Naveen_Odisha:  I thank the CM for the laying foundation stone of Odia University. I hope he enrolls there soon to learn Odia,” tweeted the PCC chief.

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