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Naveen Patnaik meets Kulta, Bhulia Samaj members ahead of Padampur by-poll

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik met members of the Kulta and Bhulia Samaj, who are dominant in Padampur sub-division of Bargarh, ahead of the assembly by-poll there on December 5 and assured them of meeting their demands.

Patnaik assured the Kulta Samaj members on Monday of granting a piece of land at Puri and assistance for the construction of a ‘dharamsala’ for the community members at the pilgrim town.

He also met a delegation of Nikhila Odisha Meher (Bhulia) Samaj at his residence and announced that a building will be constructed here in memory of renowned Odia poet Gangadhar Meher, known as ‘Swabhaba Kabi’ and said his death centenary will be observed in a grand way in 2024.

A committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary S C Mahapatra for holding the death centenary of Gangadhar Meher, an official statement issued by the CMO said quoting Patnaik.

Patnaik had met members of Binjhal community of Padampur before announcing name of the BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha for the by-election being held after the death of party MLA Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha. The state government will provide land for the construction of ‘Gangadhar Bhavan’ in memory of the legendary poet here as a mark of honour to him, Patnaik said.

Gangadhar Meher had a large following in his community, the Bhulia Samaj, which later came to be known as Nikhila Odisha Meher (Bhulia) Samaj. The Odisha government has already launched a Rs 2090 crore Ganagadhar Meher lift canal system irrigation project and it is slated to be commissioned in 2023, the release said. Odisha government is also implementing the Rs 430 crore Odisha Gangadhar Mehera Sikhya Manak Brudhi Yojana for the spread of education in the state.

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