Bijepur Violence: BJD Pooh-Poohs BJP's Charges

28 September 2019

Debashish Maharana

Bhubaneswar: Senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader from western Odisha and Transport and Commerce Minister Padmanabha Behera has pooh-poohed opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) allegation that Friday's violent attack on its worker at Kanapali was poll violence.

"Any violence that will take place ahead of the polls will be labelled as poll violence. Only investigations can reveal whether the incident was poll violence or anything else. I don't think it's poll violence," clarified Behera here today.

On the other hand, while the Congress has condemned the attack and called for abjuring violence in polls, the BJP has alleged that the monstrous attack on its worker at Kanapali on Friday was solely aimed at preventing him from taking part in the Bijepur bye-election.

"There should be no violence under any circumstances. People should be given the freedom to elect the candidate of their choice. People won't tolerate such violence, I too strongly condemn it," commented senior Congress leader and Jatni MLA Suresh Chandra Routray.

"The way our popular youth leader was attacked with bhujali and other weapons in Bijepur yesterday is solely aimed at preventing him from participating in the Bijepur bye-elections. Last time too, shots were fired and crude bombs were hurled at his home and cases were lodged against him. He had to remain outside Bijepur seeking bail and thus could not participate in the polls. This time too it is the same. Impartial inquiry can only reveal the truth whether the attack was for political reasons or otherwise," alleged Samir Mohanty, spokesperson BJP.

Notably, a BJP youth leader, Manoranjan Meher was attacked on Friday evening by four-five unidentified assailants at Kanapali on the Bijepur-Sohela road. Meher who has received grievous injuries was taken to the government hospital at Bijepur from where he was shifted to Bargarh district head quarters hospital as his condition deteriorated. He is currently undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital.

Padmanabha Behera, Minister, Transport and Commerce, Odisha

Suresh Chandra Routray, Congress MLA

Samir Mohanty, spokesperson, BJP, Odisha