BHUBANESWAR: The BJP Mahila Morcha on Saturday criticised the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for fielding candidates who are facing serious charges of murder and sexual assault.
Taking exception to the nomination filed by several prominent candidates, including Minister Pradip Maharathi and former mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Anant Jena, BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhubaneswar Aparajita Sarangi said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has done a disservice to women’s empowerment by giving party ticket to persons with questionable credentials.
“The ruling party has nominated a person for Bhubaneswar Central Assembly segment who was not only accused of sexual misconduct but allegedly involved in murder of an engineering student,” she said.
Sarangi said after dropping Maharathy from the Cabinet for his controversial remarks on the judgment on Pipili gang rape and murder case, the BJD has nominated him from Pipili. “It seems that the Chief Minister is only paying lip service to women empowerment,” she said.
“What is unfortunate is that the ruling party has given ticket to a candidate, who is accused of raping a woman, for Udala Assembly seat. The victim made an attempt to commit suicide by setting herself on fire in front of the residence of the Chief Minister three days ago,” Sarangi said. She added, “Similarly, Maheswar Mohanty, the BJD candidate for Puri Assembly seat, is yet to clear his name on charges of misconduct by a lady marshal of the House.”
The Chief Minister, by nominating such persons, is trying to give a message that the BJD rewards those persons who do not know how to respect women and have past records of serious sexual misconduct, Sarangi said.