Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) activists on Thursday protested outside different public sector units’ offices in Odisha against the Central government’s “failure” in providing jobs to the youths, despite “using the state’s mineral wealth” for the progress of the country. The agitators sat on dharnas in front of the MCL headquarters at Sambalpur, RSP at Rourkela, Oil refinery at Paradip and the offices of IOCL, Rail Sadan and Nalco.

Alleging that the Centre has not been providing jobs to the youth of the state, BJD MLA Sanjay Dasburma said, “Narendra Modi-led BJP came to power on the promise of providing employment to 2 crore youths every year. Youths and students are protesting in front of the CPSUs as it has failed to keep its promise.”

He further alleged that the PSUs, run by the Centre, have been making “huge” profits in the state but not creating enough opportunities for the local youths. “India has progressed using Odisha’s mineral wealth, coastline, and natural resources. The Centre’s PSUs are making profits in crores, but unfortunately there are no opportunities for Odiya youths,” he said.

Reacting to the agitation, BJP’s state general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan alleged that the BJD is not interested in strengthening the economy of the state. He further alleged that the agitation is aimed at covering up the inefficiency of the state government in providing jobs to youths. “We have never seen this kind of protest in any other state,” he said.

“When Naveen Patnaik is working for the state’s development and employment opportunities, the things the Centre is saying about Make in Odisha (MIO) shows that it is unable to tolerate it,” Burma alleged.