Bhakta Das forced me to join rally: Dana Majhi

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Bhawanipatna: For the Congress party, Dana Majhi, who hogged media headlines after carrying his wife’s body on his shoulders for 12 kilometres due to non availability of a hearse van, might have become a puppet to target Odisha government on the issue. But the tribal man, who lost his wife five days back and wanted to stay back at home, says he was ‘forced’ to join the party’s rally on Monday.

The pale-eyed 42-year old tribal says despite his reluctance, he couldn’t protest and had to join the padyatra organised by the Congress party, which had begun from his village Melghar in the district yesterday and reached here this morning.

“Bhakta Das insisted that I join the rally. He said he would send a vehicle for me,” a visibly shaken Majhi said.

Ironically, the party which had strongly objected to Majhi’s visit to meet the district administration officials on the day of his wife’s funeral two days back, made the tribal man walk for about 2-3 kilometres to be part of the padyatra, in an effort to cause a major embarrassment to the state government.

However, the AICC secretary has rejected Majhi’s claims.

“I did not invite him and neither was it was needed. I had asked my party workers not to invite him. I believe the villagers must have asked him to join the rally,” Das stated.

After being garlanded by Congress party workers, Majhi, along with his two minor daughters, was asked to share the stage with the party’s senior leaders, including former MPs Pradeep Majhi and Das.

Ironically, instead of extending any help to him for the rituals of remaining days, the party leaders preferred to engage themselves in the padyatra.

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