Pushed to a corner for its alleged favour to controversial Vedanta projects, ruling BJD in Orissa is set to hold a rally on Friday near the UK-based group's refinery in Kalahandi district where Rahul Gandhi addressed a meeting on August 26.
"Tomorrow's rally will give a befitting reply to Centre's anti-Orissa stand on several fronts," President of BJD's youth wing Sanjay Dasburma said.
The rally is to be addressed by eight ministers including Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadai, Revenue Minister SN Patro and Health Minister Prasanna Acharya.
However, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also President of the ruling BJD, and party's senior leader and MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, will not attend the rally.
The meeting was being held in the backdrop of Centre's denial of approval to Vedanta's proposed mining plan on the foothills of Niyamgiri, home to primitive tribes like Dongaria Kandha and Kutia Kandha.
"The Naveen Patnaik government has done more for the development of tribals than previous Congress regimes," said Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, adding BJD would not allow Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi to "mislead" tribals.