PURI:Noisy scenes and tussle between BJD and BJP workers marked the inauguration of the renovated Malatipatapur railway station by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday.
Police were caught off guard when hundreds of BJD workers gathered at the railway station and shouted slogans demanding resignation of Pradhan for his alleged links with the key accused in the Vyapam scam. Holding placards and party flags, they demanded that the Union Ministers should return.
The BJD supporters alleged that as the Union Government had not released any fund for Nabakalebara and Rath Yatra, the Union Ministers had no right to inaugurate any project related to the festival.
The BJP workers, who were present at the site to welcome their leaders, tried to prevent the BJD members leading to scuffle between the two groups. Police, however, managed to secure the area prior to the inauguration.
Speaking on the occasion, Prabhu said as lakhs of pilgrims are expected during Rath Yatra, Indian Railways has taken all steps to facilitate their transportation. After the inaugural ceremony, the BJD members went on a rampage at the site and came face-to-face with their BJP counterparts. The situation remained tense for several hours.
At the Puri railway station, Prabhu and Pradhan inaugurated two new platforms. A public meeting scheduled on the occasion was cancelled as the BJD workers created disturbance.