Mrunal Manmay Dash

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan targeted Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-led Odisha government on Tuesday saying, the people of the state would teach a lesson to the party for its arrogance.

He was speaking at a programme (Misran Parba) held at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in Bhubaneswar.

Accusing the Odisha government of covering up the Mamita Meher murder case, Pradhan said, “Your big officers and politicians tortured the girl. Then they buried her body in the field. As if that was not enough, you murdered the accused in jail too. There is no answer to that till now."

“The Police were beaten up in the police station in Bhatli area. Chief Minister, you are the Home Minister, but you do not have an answer to it. People in a republic will not tolerate arrogance. From Ravana to Kansa and Duryodhan, nobody could survive with arrogance and ego. Time will come when people will teach them a lesson,” he said.

“Odisha is amongst the top three states in atrocities against women. Every day crimes like murder and kidnapping are adorning headlines of newspapers. Is this the transformation you are speaking about?” Pradhan asked.

Earlier last week, Pradhan took potshots at the Odisha government over the supply of free rice to the people in the state.

“While the Central government has been providing rice free of cost to the people, the state government is taking the credit for it,” he said while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra at Mahulapali in Sambalpur.

"The Odisha government is taking credit for it by hanging posters with the state government logo and some photographs of the leaders. Such posters are found at retail outlets. This is sheer cheating. Such deceit should not be done in a democratic system,” he alleged.

Pradhan, however, claimed that the people have understood such cheating and will increasingly repose their faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Later in the day, Biju Janata Dal’s organisational secretary, Pranab Prakash Das took to his X handle and hit out at the Union Education Minister. 

In his X posts in Odia, Das said, “You were asked three simple questions. You were told that despite being a Union Minister of Education and Skill Development you haven’t established a new central school or a Navodaya Vidyalaya in your own district Angul, neighbouring districts Dhenkanal and Sambalpur. You have not even set up a Skill development centre.”

“National Highway work has not been completed in the last 10 years. When KP Singh Deo was the Union Minister, besides establishing IIMC, he had implemented other central projects in his district,” he wrote.

“It seems, the questions have made you angry and your blood pressure has gone up. I have seen you doing yoga on International Yoga Day. I would like to request you to continue with your yoga practice on a regular basis,” read his post.