Mrunal Manmay Dash

Tension ran high at the block office in Astaranga, Puri after hundreds of supporters of the Block Chairperson staged protest against Minister of State (MoS) Home, Tusharkanti Behera, who was there to attend a review meeting on Friday.

The protest was launched after the Block Chairperson, Samiti members and Sarpanchs were allegedly not invited to the review meeting chaired by the Minister.

As per reports, the supporters of the Block Chairperson raised slogans against the Minister, created ruckus and even reportedly scuffled with the security personnel of Behera.

They alleged that neither the Chairperson nor any Samiti members were invited to the review meeting.

“The minister is trying to suppress the issues we are facing here in our block. He feared that the shortcomings of the government will be exposed if we attend the meeting,” said a protestor, Dibakar Chhatoi.

“We wanted our grievances to be heard by the Chief Minister through these meetings. That is why there was a dispute,” he added.

However Behera said, “I am a minister and this is my block. I can review the ongoing works in my constituency any time. This is not a Panchayat Samiti meeting. I do not have to send invitation letters to anybody for this.”

Following the ruckus, police arrived at the spot and pacified the agitators.

(Reported By Sanjay Pati, OTV)