Suryakant Jena

The furore over the brutal murder of Kalahandi school teacher Mamita Meher refuses to die down in Odisha. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has been facing flak from Opposition parties for dithering action against the Cabinet Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra following allegations of his suspected role in the sensational murder case, faced black flag protest from the BJP workers during his visit to Sambalpur on Tuesday.

Hundreds of BJP workers joined a protest rally against the State government when Patnaik was distributing smart health cards to beneficiaries during a function at Kuchinda.

Some protesters waved black flags at the Chief Minister during the demonstration seeking answers from the government for delaying action in the murder case of the Kalahandi lady teacher. Police later took several agitators into custody in the aftermath of the protest. 

CM Naveen distributed Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana smart health cards to beneficiaries at the end of his public address on a dias through virtual mode. Patnaik claimed that Odisha is the foremost in the whole country in terms of providing people with smart health cards.

Around 10 lakh families have already been given away BSKY cards since September 1 and nearly 10 thousand people have availed the benefits of the scheme, Patnaik said in his speech.

The Odisha government has to shell out Rs 20 crore from the State exchequer to meet the grants for the smart health cards. And around 3.5 crore people of the entire State will get benefits from the initiative, said the Chief Minister.