BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has taken strong exception to the chanting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name during the speech of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the inaugural function of Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s (IOCL’s) Paradip oil refinery.
“Such a thing is not proper in a Government function,” Excise Minister and BJD MLA from Paradip Damodar Rout said. The BJP should not have converted it into a party affair, Rout said.
Though Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan described Rout as a ‘father figure’, tension between the BJD and BJP workers prevailed at the meeting place during the entire period.
BJD and BJP workers were seen pushing each other and there was fisticuff between two groups of activists. Minister of State for Energy Pranab Prakash Das and BJD MLA Debasis Samantray were seen pacifying the party workers.
However, the huge gathering in the public meeting was unprecedented. Rout said more than one lakh people attended the meeting and from the Paradip constituency, over 30,000 people were at the function. While the BJP had transported workers in vehicles from all over the State, the BJD had concentrated on the nearby Assembly constituencies.
As many as four Ministers and half a dozen BJD MLAs had camped at Paradip to prepare for the function.
Thousands of buses, trucks and other vehicles, which were used to bring crowd to the meeting place by both the political parties, gave rise to traffic jam on the main Paradip road. It took nearly two hours for the traffic to clear.