BHUBANESWAR: The statement of Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathi openly instigating college students to assault Government officials has sparked off strong reaction from the opposition political parties which have criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his inaction on the issue.
Alleging that the Chief Minister has always tacitly encouraged such behaviour of his ministers and party leaders, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Narsingh Mishra said by not acting against Maharathi, Naveen has exposed the true character of his Government.
The Chief Minister has always undermined the governance and administrative machinery of the State and Maharathi's statement is a part of it, he said.
The State unit of BJP has also strongly reacted to Maharathi's statement. Encouraging such statements asking students to beat up Government officials will lead to anarchy and lawlessness, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said and demanded that the Chief Minister should take action immediately.
However, the Chief Minister and BJD spokespersons maintained a complete silence over the issue.
In a show of bravado before students at the annual function of the Students' Union of Nirakarpur College recently, Maharathi had proudly flaunted his exploits of slapping a superintendent of police and pulling down pants of a Collector.
Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik had, in a letter to the Chief Minister on Thursday, demanded action against Maharathi to restore public confidence in constitutional functionaries.