Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha BJP slammed the BJD dubbing the tall claims of women empowerment by the ruling party as women exploitation.

Addressing a press meet in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, State BJP Mahila Morcha president, Smruti Patnaik targeted the ruling party for failing to give justice to the women.

“BJD often indulges in the rhetoric of giving respect to women. However, several incidents have proved that BJD leaders are not obeying the hollow policy of women empowerment,” said Patnaik.

“Two sensitive incidents happened in Odisha yesterday. BJD MLA Shashi Bhusan Behera has been accused of physically and mentally torturing his daughter-in-law. Another highly educated woman is also fighting for justice against the torture by family members of a former BJD Minister. Will the government give justice to them?” asked Patnaik.

As per the senior BJP leader, a woman or a girl is getting raped in every two and a half hours in the State due to the lackadaisical attitude of the government and the inefficiency of the Home Department.

“Odisha tops the list in terms of domestic violence against women. Odisha government submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court in this regard in 2021. The State government has utterly failed to catch the culprits and take actions against them. It has given the criminals strength to commit crimes,” said the saffron party leader.

Patnaik also highlighted the incident involving Tirtol MLA Bijay Shankar Das.

“As per the allegations by Sonali Das, Bijay was running sex rackets, trapping girls, and forcing them into sextortion. The BJD leader was also assaulting them in inebriated condition. Despite several pleas before the administration, Sonali has not been given justice yet. It has raised doubts among 2.5 crore women in Odisha over the silence and inaction of the BJD and the State government,” said Patnaik.

The BJP leader also reminded that former Minister Raghunath Mohanty had to resign and landed in jail following dowry allegations by his daughter-in-law Barsha Sony in the past.

“However, BJD is now using the term ‘women empowerment’ as propaganda only. Is Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik aware of the ordeal of these three highly educated women? Will they get justice?” asked Patnaik.

Countering the allegation by BJP, BJD MLA Ananta Narayan Jena said that the party has always acted on any allegations by ordering investigation into it and taking immediate action.

“Biju babu always wanted women to be self-reliant and that has been fulfilled by Naveen. Chief Minister will never tolerate any injustice and spare anybody,” said Jena.

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