Odisha CM Condemns Attack On Labour Minister’s Brother
Bhubaneswar: BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday strongly condemned the brutal attack on the brother of Labour and Employees’ Insurance minister Susanta Singh at Banabira in Sohela Block in Odisha’s Bargarh district late on Thursday night.
“Violence has no place in a democracy. The people of Odisha are peace-loving. I strongly condemn the cowardly act that took place yesterday night,” Patnaik told the media here.
Expressing grave concern over the incident, BJD leader Prasanna Achyara said the BJP has perpetrated the crime in fear of losing the byelection. Accusing the BJP of its involvement in the incident, he said one among the three arrested by the police is a BJP leader, who had contested for Bargarh Zilla Parishad the Panchayat elections last year.
He said some people from Chhattisgarh and other areas outside Bargarh district were present when the incident took place at Banabira.
BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the BJP workers are involved in this incident. This is evident from the statement of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who in a press meet on Thursday had targeted Susanta Singh.
Terming the allegations of the BJD leaders as baseless and politically motivated, BJP state general secretary Bhrugu Buxtipatra claimed that his party was in no way involved in the incident. “BJP does not believe in violence. The allegations of BJD are without any evidence,” he pointed out.
Condemning the incident, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said the BJD is used to making such allegations without proper investigation.
He said Subrat Singh, brother of the minister Susanta Singh, had criminal antecedents in the area where the incident took place. Stating that the incident was the fallout of previous enmity with rival groups over tender fixing, he wondered what the minister’s brother was doing there at midnight. He demanded an investigation into the criminal background of Subrat Singh.
Meanwhile, a delegation of BJD leaders led by Prasanna Acharya met the Bargarh Collector, SP and the Returning Officer and submitted a memorandum demanding stern action against the accused.
Another BJD delegation led by Surya Narayan Patro met the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar in Bhubaneswar in the afternoon and submitted a memorandum demanding action against those involved in the incident. The delegation also urged the CEO to recommend action against Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for inciting violence in Bijepur.
On the other hand, the BJP workers led by party’s state vice president Sameer Mohanty staged a dharna in front of the camp office of the Director General of Police (DGP) in the state capital demanding immediate arrest of Susanta Singh.