Bhubaneswar: The BJP today claimed that the ruling BJD leaders had planned to foil the meeting at Paradip during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dedicate the IOCL refinery to the nation yesterday.
Talking to newsmen here, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said not only the BJD MLAs, some ministers were also engaged in tearing the entry passes allotted by the IOCL to the invitees.
“One of the ministers, Pranab Prakash Das, was seen tearing the entry passes,” he claimed.
Sharma further said the BJD and the police had taken all possible measures to stop the BJP workers and leaders from attending the meeting.
“As per their plan, under the leadership of BJD Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray, all roads leading to the meeting venue were blocked at about 2 AM on Saturday. As a result, the vehicles could not reach the venue. Despite this, people managed to reach the venue. The BJD leaders had tried their best not to allow the BJP supporters and senior leaders like Rudra Narayan Pani, Pratap Sarangi and Rama Chandra Panda to the meeting place,”Sharma informed.
Asked about the complaint lodged against the BJD MLA from Niali, Pramod Mallick, the BJP spokesperson said Mallick had taken a lead role blocking the road with his supporters to stop the people from attending the meeting.
Replying to a question on the attack on the vehicle of Mallick by the BJP supporters, Sharma said the BJP workers were not involved in the incident. “Some of the ruling party members, who are opposed to Mallick, were involved in the incident,” he added.
Reacting to the statement of Sharma, BJD MLA Pravat Biswal said the allegations made by the BJP leader were absolutely baseless.
“About 90 percent of those present at the meeting at Paradip were BJD workers and leaders while only 10 percent were BJP leaders and supporters. From this, you can know about the public support the saffron party. It is out of their sheer intolerance that BJP had created the melee,” Biswal told OTV over phone.
Terming the assault on the Niali MLA by the BJP workers as grossly unfortunate, Biswal said the BJP leaders are trying to impress the people and the media by providing them with wrong information to cover up their hooliganism.
BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the manner is in which the BJP has made allegations against the ruling party in a press briefing is utterly ridiculous.
“It has exposed the sick mindset of the saffron party,” he observed.
Stating that the BJP had tried to make the function a grand success, Deb said the BJD had also tried its best to welcome the Prime Minister.
“However, bitterness arose between the BJD and the BJP as the media raked up the issues of posters and banners. Whatever may be the issue, the Prime Minister was all praise about the function as he said he had never seen such a mega function before,” he pointed out.
Earlier in the day, BJP state president Basant Panda refuted the allegations of the BJD that the BJP had tried to make the IOCL function its party function saying the function was a Central governmen programme.
“Since the Prime Minister is the leader of our party, we had tried our best to welcome and honour him at the meeting,” Panda pointed out.
He said the Prime Minister would again visit Odisha to attend the Krushak Samavesh to be organised by his party at Bargarh on February 21.