Bharmin outfit demands Rout's removal from BJD

Bharmin outfit demands Rout's removal from BJD

A Brahmin outfit stepped up its protest against senior BJD leader Damodar Rout today demanding his removal from the party for his alleged derogatory remarks on the community.

They staged a demonstration near Sishu Bhavan square here, under the banner of 'Brahmana Mahasangha', prompting the police to tighten security outside Rout's residence.

The police detained several protesters as a precautionary measure after the agitation against the former minister was intensified amid slogan shouting, a police officer said.

Leaders of the Mahasangha said the agitation would continue to mount pressure on Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik to expel Rout from the ruling party for his remarks against Brahmins.

Rout should also purify himself by shaving his head outside Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri and taking dip in sea besides seek an apology, they said.

Rout, who was the agriculture minister, was dismissed from the council of ministers on December 22 by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The chief minister removed the veteran leader from the post of party vice-president yesterday.

He was also removed from the post of observer of Dhenkanal district.

The opposition BJP has dubbed Patnaik's action against Rout as a political stunt.

BJP state unit spokesperson Sajjan Sharma alleged that the BJD believes in caste and communal politics and Patnaik has dismissed Rout to mislead people.

Rout was removed from a minister's post following state-wide protests by Brahmins over his remarks against their community during a function in Malkangiri on December 17.

The veteran leader, who represents Paradip in the Assembly, had said, "While no tribal is seen begging in any part of the state, one can spot Brahmins resorting to begging in places such as bus stands".

Brahmins, who constitute about nine per cent of the state's population, had been demonstrating and staging dharnas in different places to press their demand.

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