Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Senior Congress leader Sasmita Behera on Saturday hit out at the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over its plans to gherao RDC offices in the State from November 21 protesting the unabated rise in the price of essential commodities. 

Behera also sought an answer from the ruling party in the State over its silence on the issue for the last 7 years, since 2014.

As per reports, from November 21, the BJD will be launching protests over the uncontrolled hike in the prices of different essential items. BJD workers are scheduled to gherao RDC offices as a mark of protest. The protests will be held in three phases.

While protests will be staged before the office of the RDC (Central) at Cuttack on November 21, on November 22 and 23, similar protests will be organised outside the offices of the RDC, North, and Southern at Sambalpur and Berhampur respectively. 

However, Behera, while taking a dig at the BJD during a presser in Bhubaneswar, said the protests are a ploy to divert the attention of the people from the sensational murder case of Kalahandi lady teacher Mamita Meher. 

"It seems the State government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were in deep slumber. Why suddenly they have woken from their sleep after several years of silence and are now planning to gherao RDC offices and stage protest against the Centre over price hike," asked Behera.

Moreover, she alleged that such tactics clearly shows that the ruling party is trying to divert the attention of the people from Mamita's murder case as MoS (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra has involvement in it. 

"Is the government showing fake sympathy towards Mamita's family," she asked. 

She said consumers are now overburdened with the price rise and the elevated price of LPG cylinders is breaking their backbone. She appealed to the government to make cooking gas cylinders GST free as those are essential commodities.

However, the ruling party's reaction over the allegations made by the Congress couldn't be obtained.