Mrunal Manmay Dash

Lok Sabha member from Balasore and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pratap Sarangi was allegedly insulted by the district Collector and other officials during a public programme in Balasore on Tuesday.

As per reports, 3000 sharecroppers and sub-tenants of land in Balasore districts were called on to a government programme on Tuesday to receive ‘Sikkim Record of Rights’ (Sikkim Patta) for their lands. Being a government programme, the Collector had invited Balasore MLA and MP to the programme.

MP Sarangi reached the venue late for some reason. The programme had already started and the guests were on the stage. But after Sarangi’s arrival, nobody allegedly received him on the stage. He sat below the stage for some time and returned from the venue.

“There was a programme called Sikkim Patta Distribution where I was invited by the Nilagiri Tehsildar. When I reached the venue, I saw Collector, Balasore MLA, Minister Ashwini Patra and some other beneficiaries on the stage. There were no other seats available on the stage, so I sat below the stage for some time. Nobody received me and spoke with me. So I returned back,” alleged Sarangi.

“It is an insult for me. I am a representative of 20 lakh people. As per the rule and protocol, the Collector and Chief Secretary should stand up from their seats and greet the MLA and MP on the stage. They should then offer a chair to me. This is an attack on my self respect. By insulting me, they have insulted the 20 lakh people of Balasore,” Sarangi said.

Asked about the allegation, Balasore Collector Dattatraya Bahusaheb Shinde said, “As per my preliminary report, Balasore MP reached the programme late. I do not know about any insult but I will speak with him about his complaint and decide what to do next.”