Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Taking the fight in Pipili by-election up a notch, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday asked five questions to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a day after he addressed the voters virtually and assured more development in the constituency.

Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar, BJP State president Samir Mohanty said, “The CM on Sunday painted a rosy picture of the development of Pipili, but remained tightlipped on the situation at grassroots level.”

The first question Mohanty asked was regarding the development of Pipili that the CM assured to the constituents on Sunday. “The CM said that, from now on, the development of Pipili is my responsibility, but I want to ask, who was responsible for its development before the bypoll dates were announced,” he said.

“Who is responsible for the violence in Pipili that is the primary reason for the loss in business of the appliqué artisans,” Mohanty asked as his second question.

In the third question Mohanty invoked the sensational case of Itishree and Bebina that rocked the States years back. “When the CM talked about woman empowerment in Pipili, did he forget about Itishree and Bebina,” he questioned.

Mohanty further asked why many people in Pipili who were affected by cyclonic storm Fani are still forced to live under the open skies even after the Centre has already sent money for them.

“Two history sheeters–Dhirendra Samantray and Priyabrata Samantray who are facing many criminal cases met the CM in Naveen Niwas and have been entrusted by the BJD to ensure the win of the party candidate in Pipili seat. Is the CM encouraging violence in election,” asked Mohanty as his final question to the CM.

Concluding his address, Mohanty further said that the people of Pipili already know the false promises the CM made to them and they will certainly give an absolute mandate to BJP.

Meanwhile the campaign trail leading up to the bypoll on April 17 heated up on Tuesday with the participation of BJP heavyweights that included Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and party’s National Spokesperson Sambit Patra who urged people to vote for their candidate Ashrit Pattanayak.

Leading the BJP campaign, Pradhan set off on a road show from Uttara square and was scheduled to address public gatherings at Dandamukundapur, Satasankha and Pattanaikia.

“Peace is most important in Pipili and I urge all political parties including the workers of BJP to maintain peace in the area which is paramount in Pipili’s development,” said Pradhan.

“Before I came here, I had a telephonic conversation with the DGP of Odisha and requested him to see that the election is conducted smoothly and without violence,” he added.

(Edited By Ramakanta Biswas)