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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha BJP workers  staged a demonstration outside Baramunda High School in Bhubaneswar on Thursday in protest against the exclusion of MP Aparajita Sarangi and a local Corporator of the party from the 73rd state-level Van Mahotsav celebrations.

The party supporters demonstrated outside venue wearing black badges.

As per reports, names of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Forest and Environment Minister Pradip Kumar Amat, Minister for Public Enterprises Ashok Panda, two Bhubaneswar MLAs Sushant Rout and Anant Narayan Jena and BMC Mayor Sulochana Das are there in the invitation card printed by the Forest and Environment department for the function. 

“Surprisingly, the local elected MP has neither been invited nor informed. The local BJP Corporator is also missing,” tweeted Sarangi.

Expressing shock over the development Aparajita further tweeted, “Is this insecurity of the State Government, or its fear or its narrow-mindedness or arrogance or all four put together? How do we explain this?”

The saffron leader further announced that she is planning to go uninvited/without her name on the invitation card.

“Planning to go uninvited/without my name on the invitation card,” she further stated.

“I was also not invited on the occasion of the Capital Formation Day. I had written a letter in this regard to the Chief Minister then. It is quite unfortunate that the MP and Corporator are not invited to the state-level Van Mahotsav celebrations. MP and Corporator have been elected by the people and not at anybody’s mercy. I think it is an insult to democratic values. It reflects the insecurity, narrow-mindedness and ego of the government,” said Sarangi. 

When asked Minister Ashok Panda offered no clear answer as to why the MP was not invited to the function. The Minister spoke about earlier instances where he was not invited to inaugural functions of Kendriya Vidyalayas in Pokhariput and Kalinga Vihar. 

"The MP did not support Sri Lingaraj Temple Ordinance 2020. She also misled people by linking NMA Act with that of Lingaraj Act," the Minister said.

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