Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the controversy erupted following the 9-minute-long power cut during President Droupadi Murmu’s speech at Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University in Baripada is yet to die down, MSCBU Vice Chancellor Santosh Kumar Tripathy on Sunday said that the possibility of conspiracy can’t be ruled out. 

"There is the possibility of a conspiracy behind this. But we can’t tolerate the insult. We would bring out the truth behind it,” said Tripathy.  

“A committee has been formed to probe into the incident. It will submit its report by 3.30 pm tomorrow. If anyone is found guilty, stringent action will be taken. If a technical fault is the cause, we will be careful to avoid such a situation in the future,” he added. 

He said he was not to be blamed for the power outage as he is not a technical person. 

Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Baripada Prakash Soren held the district Collector, SP and the VC responsible over the matter. 

“Mayurbhanj has earned a bad name due to the fault of the district administration,” said Soren. 

“The district administration is solely responsible for it. If such an embarrassing incident occurred, it is due to their carelessness. Because of a lack of proper coordination, many people couldn’t attend the event. Even former minister Saraswati Hembram was stopped at the gate upon which she tore the invitation card into pieces at the entrance itself,” he added. 

He said he would bring a breach of privilege notices against the district Collector, SP and the VC of the university. 

Chairman of the Campaign Committee of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Bijay Patnaik alleged, “One thing the ministers know very well is how to win elections. They are least bothered about anything else. This is why we have been told that there is no governance in Odisha. They are more concerned about winning elections by hook or by crook. If the 9-minute power outage occurred during the speech of the President of India, there could be no worse example of bad governance.”

On the other hand, senior BJD leader Prasanna Patsani took the incident lightly. He said, “The President of India is a person like us. The power cut is not a serious issue. In villages, power cut is being experienced daily. During the period of the past governments, the problem of power cuts was more serious. If compared to other states, the frequency of power cuts is less in Odisha.”

Senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya too came down heavily on the Opposition. “I admit that what happened during the President's visit is unfortunate. An investigation has already been initiated. The VC has also apologized for the power failure during the President’s speech. It happened accidentally. The investigation would reveal why it happened and whose fault it was.”