Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday alleged that denial of security to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan during his visit to Maoist-infested Malkangiri district on Monday was a ‘political conspiracy.’
Targeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik in a press meet, the saffron party also alleged that the minister was not provided security during his one-day tour at the instance of the BJD supremo.
“We went around the entire programme without any police personnel. When we started from BSF camp to Palkonda village, there were two police escort vehicles for the minister. But after covering a distance of around two kilometres, the escort vehicles pulled up to the side and stayed back. After we arrived at the guest house, neither the Collector nor the SP met the minister. We completed our peaceful visit of the area,” BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo said.
“The State government should have at least maintained the security protocol provided to the Union Minister,” rued Singhdeo.
He also criticised Patnaik for not visiting the Japanese Encephalitis infected regions of the district.
“It is unfortunate that the chief minister has time to roam around several places to inaugurate development projects. But he has no time to visit Malkangiri till now,” he stated.
However the BJD has denied the allegations.
“No conspiracy is there in providing security to the minister. BJP wants to shift focus from cash crunch erupted out of the demonitisation”, said BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb.
On Tuesday the team, including BJP State president Basant Panda and senior leaders KV Singhdeo and Bhrugu Baxipatra visited the affected areas, including Polkonda and Dariguda village and had talks with the locals. It also visited the district headquarters hospital to assess the situation.
During his visit, the Union Minister also met Umesh Madhi, a 10-year old boy, who had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention to tackle the situation.