Pradeep Pattanayak

Senior Congress leader & MLA, Narasingha Mishra on Friday sharpened his broadside against the BJD-led government, saying he would hold Naveen Patnaik responsible if Odisha is divided into two parts over the Ollywood actor Manoj Mishra boycott issue. 

While addressing a press conference, Mishra said, “The government has not only repeatedly been hurting the sentiments of the Western Odisha people but also meting out step-motherly treatment. At a time when resentment is brewing among the people of Western Odisha for the government is paying no heed to their demands, a new issue of treating the artistes of Western Odisha disrespectfully has cropped up. Manoj Mishra issue is not an isolated case although it may have added fuel to the fire.”

“Manoj Mishra has already clarified his points. He has denied the allegations levelled against him. Some artistes alleged politics has entered into the dispute. Then I said that the politicians have a right to interfere in everything, whatever may be the issue. If an issue triggers public resentment, whether it may be the issue of teachers, doctors, or water, there will be politics. Because it is a part of the politics,” he said. 

“Nuakhai is observed for two days in Western Odisha. The second day is observed enthusiastically. The attitude of the government hurt the sentiments of the Western Odisha people. After my comments were telecast, the government postponed the Speaker election. Similarly, the government has yet to take any decision to make the Western Odisha language an official language. Modi and Naveen Babu are friends. If the Santhali language could be made the official language, why not Western Odisha’s languages, be it Koshali or Sambalpuri? What the Chief Minister is doing. This has hurt the people of Western Odisha,” he said. 

“It is none other than the Chief Minister who can resolve any issue. In Manoj Mishra boycott issue, he should convene a meeting between both sides. Had they served a show-cause notice before boycotting Manoj Mishra? They are saying that they would withdraw the boycott. Why they are not doing that? If they didn’t invite him to the meeting before boycotting him, why they are now inviting him for discussion?” he said. 

When asked about the solution to the ongoing issue pertaining to Manoj Mishra, he said, “When a situation becomes worse, it needs a solution. A fire should be put out before it turns the house into ashes. Why the state government is sitting idle? Why the Chief Minister is keeping mum? Perhaps, he wants Odisha should be divided into two parts. If it happens, I would hold the Chief Minister responsible.”

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