Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today accused Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik of shielding Patnagarh MLA Saroj Meher who is in the eye of a storm for allegedly forcing a junior engineer to do sit-ups in public.
Addressing a presser, BJP’s state secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar stated that “We are demanding immediate arrest of Patnagarh MLA before the start of the Odisha Assembly.”
Samantsinghar alleged that Odisha CM is trying to shield the MLA as no steps have been taken to arrest him. It clearly suggests that the CM is deliberately delaying arrest so that the MLA could seek bail in the case.
Not only Saroj Meher, the ruling BJD is also trying to protect its Kendrapara MP Anubhav Mohanty against whom a woman journalist has leveled allegations of abuse and misbehavior, alleged Samantsinghar.
#MLAInsultsOfficial: BJP's Lekhashree Samantsinghar says police are not arresting Patnagarh MLA Saroj Meher as the #Odisha CM is providing Meher more time to get anticipatory bail pic.twitter.com/EiwvVLipio
— OTV (@otvnews) June 20, 2019
It is pertinent to mention here that the BJD’s Patnagarh MLA Saroj Meher landed in a soup after a video went viral on social media on June 5. The video, purportedly showed Meher forcing the junior engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD), Jaykant Sabar to do hundred sit-ups in five minutes as punishment for the shoddy road work.
Meanwhile, the Bolangir district Tribal Welfare Association has decided to intensify their agitation after their meeting with the Superintendent of Police was inconclusive. The association, which is demanding the arrest of the MLA, has threatened to gherao Odisha Assembly on June 26.
Responding to BJP’s allegations, senior BJD leader and Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Das said, “Ruling party never gives protection to anyone. As our CM believes in allowing law to take its own course, let’s wait and see.”