BJD opposes shifting of East Coast Railway headquarters

Union Minister of Tribal Affairs VK Chandra Deo has demanded shifting the headquarters of the East Coast Railway from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh.

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal on Thursday held demonstrations in different parts of Odisha to protest the demand made by a union minister to shift the headquarters of the East Coast Railway from here to Andhra Pradesh.

Carrying posters and banners and shouting slogans against the central government, the party activists and leaders took out rallies and held silent demonstrations near different railway stations.

In state capital Bhubaneswar, hundreds of party members marched in a procession and assembled near the city`s railway station, where they staged a sit-in demonstration for over an hour.

"The demand made by (Union Minister of Tribal Affairs) VK Chandra Deo is absurd and anti-Odisha. We will not tolerate it," BJD legislator and protest leader Mitu Badajeja said.

The BJD will also stage similar demonstrations in front of all railway stations in the state on Friday and Saturday, he said.

Speaking to a local television channel on Wednesday, minister Deo had suggested the shifting of the headquarters of East Coast Railway from Bhubaneswar to Vishakhapatnam, as the latter was at the centre of the eastern coast.

Deo said he had also submitted a proposal to the AK Antony-headed high power committee looking into the demand for a zonal headquarters for Indian Railways.

The Odisha units of the Congress party and Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) also expressed their opposition to Deo`s proposal.