Pradeep Pattanayak

With Tirtol BJD MLA Bijaya Shankar Das’s wife-to-be lodging a police complaint, accusing him of deceiving her and running a sex racket, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have started cornering the lawmaker. 

Demanding for an independent inquiry into the allegations, both the parties have condemned the conducts of Das terming them unexpected, specifically from a public representative. 

They said the issue would be raised in the coming Assembly session. 

“The ruling BJD party is known for shielding its legislators. In this case, a woman’s life is involved, So, if the allegations are true, the government should ensure an independent inquiry and punish the accused,” demanded BJP State General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan. 

Senior Congress leader and Jatni MLA Suresh Routray also demanded justice for Somalika, the wife-to-be of Bijaya Shankar. 

“The government should initiate a strong inquiry into the serious allegations. And if his (Bijaya Shankar’s) involvement is proved, stringent action should be taken against him,” said Routray. 

At the same time, the ruling BJD chose to distance itself away from the issue. 

“In Odisha and outside as well, people know how Naveen Patnaik respects women. But we shouldn’t interfere in anyone’s personal matter,” said BJD MP Sulata Deo. 

With the issue assuming serious proportions, Bijaya Shankar on Sunday broke his silence and dismissed the allegations levelled against him as baseless. 

“I had never denied marrying her. I had told her that we would marry on an auspicious day. Since my mother is ill, I had asked for some time. I don’t know why she is in haste. And there is not an iota of truth in her allegations,” said Bijaya Shankar over phone.   
Meanwhile, on the basis of Somalika’s complaint, Jagatsinghpur police have registered cases under sections 420, 195A, 506 (B), 294, 509, 341 and 120B of IPC against Bijaya Shankar and four of his family members. 

“The sections like 120B, 195A and 506 are non-bailable offences. Police can also serve a notice on him under Section 41A of CrPC for his cooperation in investigation,” informed Parthasarathi Nayak, an advocate. 

“The quantum of punishment, if handed down to him, will be less than seven years,” Nayak added. 

Earlier, actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty was involved in marital discord and Jharigaon MLA was accused of betraying a woman. And now, the BJD party is in soup due to Bijaya Shankar. 

It is to be seen what steps the police and the BJD party are going to take against the Tirtol MLA.

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