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  • ଓଡ଼ିଆରେ ପଢନ୍ତୁ
Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • This improvised tool of political protest was first made a grand entry to the State in 2015 when the CM Naveen Patnaik's cavalcade came under a shower of eggs by youth Congress activists
  • However, the big irony has been that the ruling BJD, which deplored with harshest words the egg attack on CM Patnaik, later had fallen to the charms of enticing eggs, exactly a year later.

The humble egg is back on the centre stage of Odisha politics. It seems the politicians in the State have been taking with all seriousness a saying of well known American cook Julia Child.

She had once famously said, "The egg can be your best friend if you just give it the right break." As if taking this to heart, political parties across the spectrum (Cong, BJP and BJD) in Odisha have been diligently breaking eggs on their opponents.

In a span of a fortnight, egg shells have landed at the vehicles of BJD Ministers and legislators on as many as six occasions. And the trigger factor behind egg shelling in recent times has been the plain refusal by the ruling BJD to drop MoS (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged links with the prime accused, Gobinda Sahu, in the cruel murder of young school teacher Mamita Meher.  

Eggs Best Friend Of Politicians?

Egg throwing at rival politicians is not an Indian invented political protest tool. As per an international study, egg-breaks by a political party is mainly done to sensationally record its points of disagreement with the rival. Terming this as an aggressive political communication to the voters or people, the study puts it in the category of 'sensationalism and headline grabbing' political communication.

Eggs Galore In Odisha Politics

The recent consistent 'egg' shelling on ruling party legislators and ministers is not new to Odisha politics. This improvised tool of political protest was first made a grand entry to the State in 2015 when CM Naveen Patnaik's cavalcade came under a shower of eggs by youth Congress activists on the main power-thoroughfare (Road connecting the State Secretariat) of the Capital city.

The incident then rocked the national headlines. An additional DCP ranked officer-in-charge of State's Special Security Battalion (SSB) was suspended and departmental action was initiated against him. The State police then slapped IPC section 307 (Attempt to murder) on the youth Congress activists for 'egging' the CM.

The Big Irony

However, the big irony has been that the ruling BJD, which deplored with harshest words the egg attack on CM Patnaik, later had fallen to the charms of enticing eggs, exactly a year later.

The BJD legislator and workers then had targeted Union BJP ministers. And the improvisation they made had been the shelling the combo of egg plus stones.

On June 24, 2016, BJD Bargarh legislator Debesh Acharya led party cadres to throw egg and stone missiles at the Union Minister Santosh Gangwar at Gandhi Square in Bargarh. The news spread like wildfire in the national media.

BJD workers had even targeted the then Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and many other saffron leaders then.

Even, at that point in time, the ruling party workers had aimed their egg-missiles at all the opponents - Ex-Parte or In-Parte.

Eggs Dominated Odisha Assembly!   

The humble eggs had so much grip in the Odisha politics that CM Patnaik had himself given a written answer to the question on 'egg shelling' on State political leaders in the Odisha Assembly.

As per the CM's reply, egg attacks in Odisha made a debut in the year 2015. The State saw two such attacks, including the one on CM's cavalcade, in that year.

In the following year (2016), the number of egg attacks rose to 13. And in 2017 (the Panchayat poll year) the total egg protests were down to around half-a-dozen. Moreover, the data then revealed that while BJD ministers had faced the egg protest 13 times, BJP suffered thrice.

For 16 such 'egging', 89 people were arrested then by the State police, including 18 for shelling eggs at CM's cavalcade.

A glance at the data shows egg-led protest peaked in the year preceding the Panchayat poll year (2017).

Moreover, when Odisha Congress' improvised attack on the ruling party had been to drive home the point that Naveen led BJD Govt had a 'goose egg' show for the last 14 years and tumbling of many scams then.

As per the official statement of the Grand Old party, after the egg attack on CM's cavalcade, "In the 14-year rule, the BJD govt had not provided jobs to youths in the State. They collected Rs 100 from all youths to give jobs at Job Mela. But it turned out to be hoax. Rather, it was seen how the ruling party ministers have cheated common man via the chit fund scam."

The BJD Egging

However, the ruling BJD legislators and workers had then lobbed egg missiles at only a year old BJP-led NDA govt at the Centre. And the attacks were orchestrated when the Union ministers (Gangwar and Oram) were on their way to take part in BJP's the then Vikas Utsav announced by PM Modi to mark the first anniversary of BJP-led NDA govt.

"The egg attacks on us shows ruling BJD's fear over the rising popularity of BJP," remarked the then Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram.

2021 Egg Shelling

The eggs that were lying in cold storage in Odisha politics since 2018, makes a big bang entry to the Odisha political arena over the face-off between ruling BJD and Opposition. Will this tool again lose its edge in 2022?

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