BHUBANESWAR: The Opposition MLAs on Friday lashed out at the State Government in the Assembly for its ‘silence’ over the twin abductions by Maoists. They also criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik alleging that he is indifferent to the matter.
The hostage issue was raised during Zero Hour when members cutting across party- lines expressed concern over the incidents and demanded steps for early release of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka. He has been in captivity of Maoists since March 24. “The State Government has not taken any step to ensure release of the tribal MLA. Had it been the case of a general caste MLA, the Government would have acted promptly,” former minister and senior Congress member Dambarudhar Ulaka said. Tribals are being treated as ‘sacrificial lambs’ by the BJD Government, he charged.
Alleging that the tribals are the worst- sufferers under the BJD regime, Ulaka alleged that the Government has no concern for the tribal MLAs, let alone ordinary tribals.
His party colleague Bhujabal Majhi recalled the promptness of the State Government in initiating moves for the release of the then Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna who was abducted by Maoists last year. But the fate of Hikaka and Italian national Paolo Bosusco has been left to God, he said.
Stating that the Government’s way of handling the hostage crises is not yielding any result, Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan alleged that the Chief Minister is taking neither the Opposition into confidence nor convening all-party meeting to resolve the issue.
Dubbing the State Government ‘insensitive’, Harichandan warned that it would be responsible for any harm to Hikaka and Bosusco. “The Government is not involving politicians and police in the negotiation process,” he said.
BJP Legislature Party leader K V Singhdeo too slammed the Government for allegedly keeping the Assembly in dark over the hostage crises. ‘’The House needs to be informed about the condition of hostages. The Government must clarify its stand on the demands made by the Maoists who have been keeping Hikaka and Bosusco hostage,” he said.
Singhdeo said two Ministers __ S N Patro and Lalbihari Himirika __ were sent to Laxmipur by the Chief Minister after the kidnapping of the MLA. But the House has not been informed on their feedback, he said.
Ramchandra Kadam (Cong) from Hikaka’s neighbouring constituency Potangi alleged that the Government is neglecting the issue because a tribal MLA has been kidnapped. Raghuram Podal (BJD) said the concern expressed by the members is justified.