Odisha's tourism and culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda faced protests by locals when he arrived here to attend a programme to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of poet Gangadhara Meher. The locals agitated before him demanding the installation of a statue of eminent poet Upendra Bhanja, who hailed from Ganjam district. BJP too joined the protestors saying Bhanja is to Odisha what Shakespeare is to England and Tagore to Bengal. Panda assured that Bhanja's statue would be put up and his birthplace Kullad would be developed as a tourist spot at an investment of Rs 50 lakh. At the programme he unveiled a statue of poet Gangadhara Meher. To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Gangadhara Meher the government has decided to instal his statues at all revenue divisional office headquarters, the minister added.
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