Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leaders today distanced themselves from Minister Damodar Rout’s statement made on marital status of BJP spokesperson Lekhashree Samantsinghar few days ago.
Meanwhile, activists of BJP Mahila Morcha today gheraoed the residence of the minister demanding his resignation.
BJP women wing president Pravati Parida, who led the agitation against Rout, said they would stage agitation in all districts if Rout did not resign.
"It is an insult to the women of Odisha that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is silent over Rout's derogatory remark," Parida said.
Similarly, members of All Odisha Anganwadi Ladies Workers Association also staged a demonstration in the city and set on fire Rout's picture. They threatened to intensify agitation if Rout was not dismissed.
While Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro stated politicians should remain within their limits, two other ministers - Maheswar Mohanty and Ananta Das disliked Rout's remark.
Patro stated, "If Damodar has stated anything defaming, it is not appropriate. However, as I have not heard the exact statement, I cannot comment on it."
Expressing similar views Mohanty said, "The Agriculture Minister is a senior politician; he should not have made such remarks against the BJP leader."
Higher Education minister Das stated, "We are here to serve people. Therefore, we as politicians should maintain decency in public sphere."
At the same time, security has been tightened outside Minister Rout's residence.
Few days ago, Samantasinghar had described Minister Rout as 'Shikhandi' and Chief Minister Patnaik as 'Dhritarashtra' of The Mahabharata.
Countering Samantasinghar's remark, Rout had made the alleged derogatory remark at BJD's Jana Sampark padyatra.
The BJP Mahila Morcha has threatened to launch a State-wide agitation if Minister Rout does not apologise.