Bhubaneswar: BJP on Friday accused the BJD government of not providing a ground for the public meeting of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on February 11.
“This is unfortunate that the state government is doing petty politics. BJD’s action was out of fear and panic,” alleged senior BJP leader B B Harichandan.
“Even though we had requested the School and Mass Education department to allow us to hold Modi’s rally at the Capital High School grounds on December 26, the department is yet to take a decision,” senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty said.
Mohanty said the party had requested for the ground as about two lakh people would assemble there. Two other large grounds like Janata Maidan and Exhibition Ground were not available on February 11, he said.
While the Commissionerate Police has already given consent to the Capital High School ground as the venue since it would be best from the security point of view, the School and Mass Education department was sitting over it, the BJP leader said.
Accusing the department of playing footsie, he said if the government was not ready to provide the ground, it should organise an alternative venue for the meeting, which could not be cancelled.
The party also cautioned the state government that it would be responsible for any law and order if the ground was not allowed.
Countering it, BJD Vice-President Damodar Rout said, “They should apply for the place which can be given for a public meeting. Since their request is for a school ground, we are considering it. The school ground can only be given for a rally in the security point of view,” School and Mass Education Minister R N Nanda said.