Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With the death toll due to the Japanese Encephalitis in Malkangiri district touching 105 today, Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan accompanied by the BJP State president Basant Panda and party legislature party leader KV Singhdeo are scheduled to visit the vector-borne disease affected areas of the district on Monday to take stock of the situation.

The five-member BJP team including Pradhan are scheduled to reach Dariguda and Kalkunda villages of the district which are most affected by the Encephalitis and have talks with the locals. Besides, the team will visit the Malkangiri district headquarters hospital to assess the situation followed by discussion with elders of the locality.

Informing the newsmen about the BJP team’s Malkangiri visit, Panda said, “Tomorrow the team including the Union Oil Minister will tour the district to know the ground reality and have talks with locals followed by a visit the district headquarters hospital. The team will submit a report to the Centre so that a way will be found out how it will involve itself more into the distribution of assistance to Odisha, which is already going on.”

Panda further stated, “Earlier, the Union Oil Minister’s visit, scheduled to be on November 4, was deferred on basis of a recommendation from the State government asking him not to tour the areas on the day.”

When informed about the demands made by BJD asking for the Prime Minister’s visit to Malkangiri district, Panda retorted, “The chief minister and BJD party supremo must have gone to the encephalitis-hit areas which is why the ruling party leaders are asking for a tour of the Prime Minister to the district. From his action, it seems the chief minister is having so much knowledge but lacks common sense.”

Mounting his attacks on the ruling party, Panda added, “The Chief Minister has never visited either Nagada or the Sishu Bhavan in Cuttack or the Malkangiri district where child deaths occurred. First he (Patnaik) should make a self-assessment and try to reach out the people of the State as they have reposed their faith on BJD during past four Assembly elections.”

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He further stated, “Due to the inept attitude and incompetency of the ruling party, Odisha is facing humiliation and shame. The Chief Minister and BJD should think how people of the State should be able to raise their head with pride again.”

The BJP state unit chief said from the day child deaths begun in Malkangiri district due to the encephalitis, the party volunteers has been providing of milk, warm water and creating awareness in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, with two more child deaths at the Malkangiri district headquarters hospital today, the number of deaths has reached 105 so far.