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Rashmi Rekha Das

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi on Monday expressed discontentment over the absence of minister of state (home) Tusharkanti Behera, Police Director of General and Home Secretary to welcome Union Home Minister Amit Shah from Bhubaneswar International Airport on late Sunday night.

As per the protocol, Minister of State for home Tusharkanti Behera, Police DG Sunil Bansal and Home Secretary should remain present at the airport to welcome Shah. 

She said, “She has worked 25 years in administrative service. Going by the protocol and rule book, this should not have happened. Be it night or any hour of the day, they should remain present there.”

It is learnt that Shah reached Bhubaneswar late Sunday night on a special flight to attend several events during his two-day visit to Odisha. He was accompanied by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Shah was given a rousing reception by top leaders including state party president Samir Mohanty, National Vice President of party Jay Panda, Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi, MP Aparajita Sarangi among others at the Bhubaneswar airport. But Minister of State for home Tusharkanti Behera, Police DG Sunil Bansal and Home Secretary were found absent.

Aparajita said “It’s a matter of shame that when Union Home Minister Amit Shah reached Bhubaneswar airport late yesterday night, Minister State for Home Tushar Babu  was supposed to come but he was not there. We are not demanding Home Minister who is Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should remain present there. But Minister of State for Home Tushar babu had to come. Secondly, Home Secretary was absent during the welcome.  It’s surprising that even Police DG did not think it was necessary to welcome the Union Minister Amit Shah who never adopted indifference attitude towards Odisha. You would be surprised to know Special Secretary Home had come to welcome Shah. I was into administrative service. There is a protocol for everything. The government has breached protocol.”

Amit Shah began his Odisha tour by performing 'Jal-abhishekh' (consecration) at Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar to mark the last Monday of the holy Shravana month, spending around 20 minutes inside the 11th century Lord Shiva shrine here amid tight security.

Accompanied by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi and other senior BJP leaders, Shah, after offering prayers, waved at the devotees standing in queues outside the shrine.

Ten platoons of police force were deployed at the temple during the visit.

Shah, from there, left for BJP state president Samir Mohanty's residence here, where he had breakfast with his family and other party leaders.

He next visited Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birth place at Odia Bazar in Cuttack.

The Union home minister paid floral tributes at the statue of the revolutionary leader. He also took a tour of the Netaji Museum, where collectives and memorabilia associated with Bose's childhood have been put on display.

On his way to Cuttack, Shah was welcomed and greeted by BJP workers at different locations. He received flower bouquets from people standing on both sides of the road.

Later in the day, Shah attended the 75th anniversary function of Odia daily Prajatantra'. He will launch a book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other programmes.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place on the stretches through which his cavalcade passed.
 

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