Suryakant Jena

The Odisha Assembly on Thursday witnessed uproarious scenes as the BJP launched scathing attack on the Congress after its spokesman Ajoy Kumar’s highly incinerating statement on NDA’s Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu.

Notably, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Wednesday said that NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu represents a "very evil philosophy of India" and so she should not be made a "symbol of Adivasi."

The development has evoked sharp reactions from all around especially the BJP in Odisha which has termed Kumar’s statements as utterly condemnable. Speaking in this regard, Opposition chief whip and BJP leader Mohan Majhi said the statement of the Congress leader is an insult to Odisha and exposes the anti-women, anti-tribal, and anti- dalit face of the congress party. The party must apologize to the people of Odisha and tribals of the country, he said.

The Odisha BJP has sought an unconditional apology from Rahul Gandhi over the matter. Condemning the deplorable statements of Congress Leader Ajoy Kumar, Odisha BJP Unit on Thursday staged demonstration in the Odisha Legislative Assembly demanding a condemning resolution to be passed by the house against the statement,' the party wrote in its Twitter handle. 

The Bhubaneswar district unit of BJP took out a protest rally from the party’s state headquarters to Ram Mandir against the issue. The state unit’s legislators also raised the issue in the House on Thursday and targeted Congress.

BJP's Bhubaneswar District President, Babu Singh said, "This statement by Ajoy Kumar represents the thoughts of the Congress party which is anti-women and anti-tribal."

BJP National Vice President Jay Panda too lambasted the Congress leader Ajoy Kumar for making such objectionable statements.

“Draupadi Murmu not only has laudably completed her role as a minister and the Governor of a state but with her talent and work ethics has made it all the way to the top where she is now. So making such controversial remark against her is unacceptable,” Panda said in his reaction. 

On the other hand, Congress has retaliated against the BJP for discussing such issues which have no relevance to the House. We are proud that Draupadi Murmu being an Odia girl is stepping up to become the President of India but the way BJP is using her name to politicise the matter is unfortunate, said senior Congress leader Sura Routray.

MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, "BJP does not know the meaning of the statement. There is no question of Rahul Gandhi's apology. They should keep this drama away and understand the fact first."

Meanwhile, senior BJD leader Debi Mishra also condemned the statements made by Congress leader Ajoy Kumar but urged both the BJP and the Congress to cooperate for a peaceful ambience in the Assembly proceedings.