The controversy over absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photographs at vaccination centres in Odisha continued for the second consecutive day with BJP supporters protesting at different centres across the State on Tuesday.
BJP supporters protested at Giri Road Girls High School in Berhampur and questioned why PM Modi’s posters were not displayed at the centre. They reportedly tore up posters of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik put up at the centre and also engaged in heated argument with the enforcement squad at the centre.
Senior BJD leader and Ganjam district unit president Ramesh Chandra Chyaupatnaik said there should not be any politics over the vaccination drive.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted the historic proposal made by Naveen Patnaik and it is really a matter of pride. However, the nuisance created by BJP workers at the ground level is not acceptable,” said Chyaupatnaik. By ‘historic proposal’, he was apparently referring to CM Naveen’s proposal for centralised vaccine procurement.
Similar protests over the poster by the BJP workers were seen at various vaccination centres in Dhenkanal district. The saffron party activist questioned why only CM Naveen’s posters were put up even if the Centre is supplying vaccines to the State for free. They vented their anger by tearing up posters of Naveen Patnaik.
Later, a BJP delegation led by former MLA Krushna Patra met additional collector and submitted a memorandum in this regard.
“We do not have any objection over putting up posters of Naveen Patnaik, who is the chief minister of the State. However, the posters must carry pictures of PM Narendra Modi as Centre has supplied the vaccines for free. We demand immediate removal of the banners and installation of posters featuring pictures of both CM and PM,” said Patra.
Meanwhile, a heated argument broke out between BJP Mayurbhanj MP Bishweswar Tudu and police at a vaccination centre in Baripada. Tudu was there to protest absence of PM Modi's photo.