Rashmi Ranjan

Hundreds of Congress and BJP workers including former MLA Debasis Patnaik have been picked up by police ahead Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's visit to Banki in Cuttack district on Monday.

The CM will visit the area today to inaugurate Odisha's longest bridge T-Setu over Mahanadi River. 

The police action came after the Congress activists staged a black flag protest demanding the ouster of Home Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged involvement in lady teacher Mamita Meher’s murder in Kalahandi.

The police also picked up saffron party leader Subhranshu Mohan Padhi and other workers from the party office to prevent them from staging any kind of protest during the CM's visit to the area.

"We are not against the developmental works but opposing the ministers and MLAs who are involved in many criminal cases. Even after the repeated protests, the Chief Minister is yet to take any action against the minister who are involved in Mamita murder case and Mahanga double murder," alleged  Debasis Patnaik, former Banki MLA.

Notably, the CM will inaugurate the longest bridge T-Setu on Mahanadi River. The foundation stone of the 3,100-metre-long bridge was laid by the CM in February 2014. The bridge has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 132 crore.

The bridge will benefit the residents of Cuttack and Khurda by cutting the distance between Banki in Khurda and Badamba and Narasinghpur in Cuttack by 50 km.