Ramakanta Biswas

The two major Opposition parties in Odisha, the BJP and the Congress, on Wednesday observed 12-hour bandh at Kuchinda in Sambalpur district protesting the alleged attacks on their party workers by the members of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).  

The workers of the two parties were allegedly attacked for protesting during Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to the district on Tuesday. The bandh is being observed from 6 am to 6 pm. 

“The BJP workers were holding demonstration when glass bottles and stones were thrown at them. This is gundaraj by the BJD and the police administration has turned mum spectators. Therefore, we have called for bandh from 6 am to 6 pm today,” alleged Rabi Narayan Nayak, State BJP general secretary.

On the other hand, Congress party alleged that Kuchinda Youth Congress unit president Jayant Kishan was brutally attacked by BJD workers for shouting slogans over lady teacher Mamita Meher murder case during Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s programme at Kuchinda on Tuesday. 

Former Congress MLA Rajendra Kumar Chhatria said, “We on behalf of the Congress party have called for a bandh today. Other organisations also extended support to the bandh. Members of the PCC and district Congress across the State have reached here.”   

Notably, CM Naveen faced black flag protest from the BJP workers during his visit to Sambalpur on Tuesday. Hundreds of BJP and Congress party workers also took out rallies as a mark of protest against the CM who was distributing BSKY smart health cards to beneficiaries in Kuchinda.