While leaders cutting across party lines have termed the arrest of Talcher MLA Brajakishore Pradhan in connection with violence at the railway siding at Jagannath Colliery in Angul district as undemocratic, the demand is growing for the arrest of the contractor whose henchmen attacked the legislator and injured him.
Alleging that the local police are under pressure not to move against the contractor, chairman of the OPCC media cell Narsingh Mishra questioned why the contractor is yet to be arrested when the MLA, who was attacked, is behind bars.
Mishra demanded the immediate arrest of the contractor and release of the MLA.
Health Minister and senior BJD leader Damodar Rout has also expressed concern over the development.
Rout said he was not aware of the details of the case, but the arrest of an MLA during the Assembly session was certainly a matter of concern.
“Let the police complete the investigation. Only then we will be able to say whether such action was justified or not,” Rout said.
Former Government chief whip Rabi Narayan Pani has also expressed concern over the arrest of the MLA.
He demanded that cooperative workers should be handed over transportation at the railway siding and the contractors, whose henchmen are vitiating the atmosphere, should be thrown out.
Stating that Pradhan was fighting for the rights of local workers since long, Mishra alleged that the State Government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are utilising police to suppress the democratic movement of workers in the State.
It is strange that the management and local police did not take any step to properly deal with the problem of the workers, Mishra said, adding that instead of trying to settle the labour unrest, the State Government has become vindictive and arrested a sitting MLA.
OPCC president Jayadev Jena also disapproved of the Government’s move to arrest the MLA when the Assembly is in session. Jena said a Congress team will soon visit the place of violence to take stock of the situation.
Jena said he has discussed the matter with Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh and it will be raised in the Assembly on Monday.