BJD-BJP tussle intensifies in Odisha

The ruling BJD in Odisha has launched a scathing attack on the BJP for the humiliating manner in which its party workers treated a senior legislator of the regional outfit during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state.

“This is worst kind of politics. The entire episode demonstrated to what level the BJP leaders, workers and activists can stoop down to. They have forgotten the minimum decency in politics”, BJD spokesperson and senior party MLA Samir Dash said.

Pramod Mallick, the BJD MLA from Niali in coastal Cuttack district was severely beaten up and was reportedly made to walk on the street wearing a saffron cap by BJP workers armed with lathis (sticks) when he was on his way to Paradip to attend the PM’s function. The matter came to light on Tuesday when local TV news channels ran the video clippings of the entire episode in their bulletins.

“I was dragged from my vehicle...severely beaten up and was made to walk wearing a BJP saffron cap. The mob consisting of BJP workers were armed with lathis. Hence, I had no option but to obey their orders”, Mallick, a two time legislator said. His PSO (personal security officer) lodged a police complaint following which 15 BJP workers were arrested late on Tuesday night.

State BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma, however, denied the charge and said, the BJD MLA had worn  the BJP cap on his own. “He wanted to impress the prime minister”, he quipped.

 He strongly criticised the government on the arrest of the BJP workers and said BJD workers led by their party MLAs were also involved in similar activities. “It is surprising that no action has been taken against the BJD workers and leaders despite police complaint against them”, he added.

The war of words between the party leaders has further intensified the ongoing tussle between the BJD and the BJP.

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