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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Lok Sabha MP from Bargarh and senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari attendance at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's programme in Jharsuguda on Monday has raised many eyebrows as the saffron party leader had recently announced not to show up at any of CM’s programmes. 

As per reports, CM Patnaik was scheduled to distribute the BSKY smart health cards during a virtual programme at Jharsuguda along with the announcement and inauguration of several other welfare projects, today. 

However, Pujari, who had earlier refused to attend any programme in the presence of CM Patnaik, joined the event which has now sparked a debate. 

Earlier, Pujari had lashed out at Patnaik and the Odisha Government after several workers of the saffron party were arrested while staging protests over the sensational murder case of Kalahandi lady teacher Mamita Meher. Pujari had even accused that the government was trying to suppress the voice of the Opposition which have been demanding justice for the family of the deceased lady teacher. 

Pujari had stated that the recent attacks on workers belonging to the Opposition parties by ruling BJD workers during protests was quite similar to the occurrences during CM Janaki Ballabh Patnaik’s reign in Odisha. During the Congress rule in the State, their party workers attacked protesters while the government left no stone unturned to suppress the protests and protesters. Those who raised voices against the government were arrested and suppressed, Pujari had said.

Further, Pujari had added that the current situation in the State was akin to the scenario during Congress rule and history was once again repeating. Lashing out at the BJD government, Pujari had said, such strategy by the Congress was responsible for their fall in the State in 1990s and the BJD government will face similar consequences and the days were not too far away.

Pujari condemned the arrests of his party workers and had stated that he won't be sharing stage with CM Patnaik ever. 

However, explaining the reasons about his presence at the event on Monday, Pujari said he had refused to share stage during the physical presence of the CM. “Today’s programme was held virtually,” he added.

"I had refused to attend the event because of the Mamita Meher's murder case, attack on protesters and the government's inaction. Moreover, the mother of a Dalit youth, who was murdered, was not allowed to meet the CM. I had announced to boycott events during the physical presence of the CM," said Pujari.

Pujari said, "The event was not just about the distribution of BSKY smart health cards at Jharsuguda. It also included the inauguration of different projects and schemes proposed along with the settlement of families displaced by the Hirakud dam project. I was raising voice in Parliament over these issues since the last 10 years and my presence at the event during the foundation stone laying ceremony was essential."

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