Pradeep Pattanayak

The BJP on Thursday alleged that the attack on Berhampur Lok Sabha candidate Pradeep Panigrahi at Gosani Nuagaon on May 13 is a conspiracy of the BJD.
According to BJP, Pradeep Panigarhi had been criticising Naveen Patnaik and VK Pandian since he switched over to the saffron party. His popularity has also been on the rise. 

This apart, as Pradeep had been the representative of the Chief Minister for a long time and the Ganjam district BJD president for 10 years, he is aware of the party's organisation in the district inside out. 

He was also able to bring several known faces including Berhampur’s former BJD MP Siddhant Mohapatra and Khallikote’s former MLA Purna Chandra Sethi into the BJP fold. 

Moreover, the frequent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party National President JP Nadda and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh became a headache for the BJD. 

BJP alleged that BJD roped in Sibashankar Das-former BJD mayor of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) and Independent candidate of the Berhampur Assembly seat to attack Pradeep with an ulterior motive of weakening the BJP.

Also Read: Attack on BJP LS candidate Pradeep Panigrahi: Police arrest independent candidate Shibashankar Das

“It’s a conspiracy of BJD to restrict the BJP. We are condemning BJD’s act. Sibashankar Das alias Pintu Das, who has criminal antecedents and is contesting as an Independent candidate from the Berhampur Assembly seat, attacked Panigrahi in police presence. From where he got the courage? We demand action against such anti-socials and make the election free and fair,” said Bibhuti Jena, BJP’s Gopalpur candidate. 

On the other hand, BJD refuted the allegations, saying it is not involved in any criminal activities. 
“We have never conspired against other parties. What happened is purely BJP’s party matter. There is no involvement of the BJD,” said Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, BJD’s Berhampur candidate. 

Presently, Pradeep is undergoing treatment at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar for the injury he suffered in his chest and ribcage. 
“A team of doctors from cardiothoracic, cardiology, medicine and critical care is observing him. He will be under observation for some days,” said Prof Ashutosh Biswas, executive director, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.

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