Pradeep Pattanayak

The state BJP Mahila Morcha will launch an agitation over rising crimes against women across the state, said Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday. He said this after inaugurating the extended executive meeting of the state Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Mahila Morcha at party headquarters in Bhubaneswar. 

While addressing the gathering, he said the rising crimes against women have let our heads hang in shame. There are scores of allegations against BJD leaders and ministers, he added. 
Taking strong exception to the huge amount of money recovered during I-T raids, he said, “The Modi government won’t let anyone go scot-free. Those who have looted public money will be sent to jail. And those who are supposed to come up with their statements should speak instead of putting on masks.”

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The executing meeting of the party discussed several key issues including rising crimes against women, as revealed by the recently-published National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report. The Morcha alleged that the women in the state are not getting their due respect even after 23 years of rule by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). 

“In the extended executive organized by the state Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Mahila Morcha, our discussion will focus on the recently published NCRB report.  From the report, we came to know that the women in Odisha are not safe. This is the situation even after 23 years of BJD government,” said state BJP Mahila Morcha chairperson, Aiswarya Biswal. 

Later in the day, the BJD responded to the Union Minister’s statements. 

Addressing a press conference, BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty said, “What the Union Minister said was to encourage his party workers in the state who have been in a dejected mood following their party’s debacle in panchayat elections, civic body elections, and by-polls. There is nothing wrong in encouraging party workers. But what is wrong is telling half-truths.”

“The NCRB report is in the public domain. What we expect from the Union Minister is that he should have gone through the report before giving his statements. In the report, it is categorically mentioned that Uttar Pradesh tops the list in crimes against women.  The states that follow are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. There are BJP-ruled states on top of the list. Does the Union Minister mean to say the governments in those states are incompetent?” he added.

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