BHUBANESWAR/DHENKANAL: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday attacked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for rise in poll violence across the State and murder of several BJP workers.
Accusing the Chief Minister of creating an atmosphere of terror, Pradhan said the BJD has been resorting to violence as it has sensed an imminent defeat after the first phase of the polls. “If the Chief Minister thinks he is popular, what is he scared of,” Pradhan asked.
Alleging that the State police adopted a partisan approach, the Union Minister said that the killers of BJP block president Manguli Jena are moving freely even after four days of the incident in which assailants shot him just 500 metres from the residence of Khurda SP. Khurda police has failed to apprehend the assailants even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the incident during his visit to the State on Tuesday, he said.
Pradhan said the Khurda murder case is not an isolated incident. Santosh Pati, a youth in his early thirties and a supporter of BJP was beaten to death at Kadalijhola village under Sorada police limits of Ganjam district allegedly by BJD supporters on Wednesday night.
In another incident, the mutilated body of a BJP worker, was found in Agajhola village under Bhanjanagar Assembly constituency. The BJP claimed that the man was murdered by BJD workers. In a separate incident, supporters of Minister Sushant Singh attacked the BJP candidate for Bijepur Assembly constituency Sanat Gadtia and damaged his vehicle on Wednesday night, he alleged.
The Union Minister further alleged that hurling of crude bombs at the BJP ward office near Delta Colony of the city is the handiwork of BJD goons. “The Chief Minister being in-charge of the Home department is responsible for maintaining law and order. The BJD chief is grossly mistaken if he thinks that the BJP will be cowed down by such terror tactics. Workers of the saffron party will fight the ongoing elections to the finish and ensure a huge victory for the BJP,” he said.In Dhenkanal, the Union Minister blamed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the tardy pace of development in Odisha.