BHUBANESWAR: Two main opposition political parties, the Congress and BJP, have given call for Malkangiri district bandh tomorrow coinciding with the visit of chief minister Naveen Patnaik evoking sharp response from the ruling BJD.
"Giving a bandh call when the chief minister is going on an official visit to the district is a challenge to democracy," BJD spokesperson and former minister Pratap Keshari Deb said.
Time and again the opposition political parties have complained that BJD protests whenever their leaders visit any place in the state, Deb said and warned that now onwards the opposition political parties will have no reason to complain about such things.
Several senior leaders of the BJD including minister of state for commerce and transport Ramesh Majhi and former minister Rabinarayan Nanda are camping at Malkangiri in view of the chief minister's visit tomorrow and the bandh call given by the opposition political parties.
Nanda said the bandh call by the Congress and BJP will have no impact and the public meeting to be addressed by the chief minister at Malkangiri tomorrow will be a huge success. The chief minister is also scheduled to lay foundation stones and inaugurated projects worth over Rs 250 crore during his visit.
However, the chief minister is not likely to visit villages affected by Japanese Encephalitis which took the life of more than 100 children. He is scheduled to review the situation at a high-level meeting at Malkangiri.
Vice-president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Pradip Majhi, however, said that the bandh call will be a total success. Besides BJP, several other organisations have also announced their support for the bandh.
As the chief minister did not fulfil the demand for compensation to families whose children died of JE and
vaccination of children, why is he now visiting the district after so many days, Majhi asked.
BJP state unit general secretary Bhrugu Buxipatra also said that the bandh call given by the opposition political parties and supported by several organisations will be total.