After Dasburma, Congress targets Atanu with eggs

Deogarh/ Bhubaneswar: After Food minister Sanjay Dasburma, Odisha Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak today faced the wrath of Congress when a group of party activists hurled eggs at the minister’s car at Kurada in Deogarh district.

The incident took place at around 4 pm when the minister was on his way to Deogarh district headquarters hospital from Sambalpur. Some youths holding Congress flags threw eggs at his vehicle and fled the spot.

Soon after the incident, the minister postponed his Deogarh visit and returned to Bhubaneswar, report said.

The Students’ wing of State Congress claimed responsibility for the egg attack. “Such protest will be intensified in the coming days as the State government has completely failed to address students’ issues,” Chhatra Congress president Itish Pradhan said.

“Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has given different portfolios to undeserving MLAs, who have failed to solve the problems of their respective departments,” Pradhan said. “I welcome the move of Deogarh Chhatra Congress,” he added.

On the other hand, BJD termed the egg attack as an outcome of frustration. “Chhatra Congress had faced a severe jolt in the last college election. They are resorting to such cowardly act to prove their existence”, Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) president Byomakesh Ray said.

“The Chhatra Congress feels happy when media reports their activities,” Ray said.

The youth activists of Congress had resorted to a similar attack on Sanjay Dasburma’s car over the last two days.

The activists bearing flags in their hands had barged into the premises of Puri Circuit House shouting slogans against BJD government over large scale irregularities in ration card allocation under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and had hurled eggs and tomatoes at Dasburma’s vehicle on Sunday.

A day after the incident, five Congress workers – Swadhin Kumar Panda, Amarendra Paikara, Biswaranjan Samantaray, Asish Das and Aditya Narayan Pani – were arrested by Puri police.

The Congress workers followed suit on Monday when some youth claiming to bemembers of the students’ and youth wings of Congress party hurled eggs and tomatoes at Dasburma’s car near the Chhatrapur College square on the national highway while he was on his way to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of Behampur University.

Three workers – Arun Nayak, M Sadhu Reddy and Kalia Rout – have been arrested by Ganjam police in this connection.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra welcomed the egg attack incident even as he pleaded ignorance about the attackers. “I have not discussed with any party activist about the protest. But I welcome the egg attack move of the youths,” Mohapatra said.

Similarly, Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati dubbed such attack as bare minimum for such an inactive government. “Not only eggs, they (BJD leaders) should also be attacked with sticks,” Bahinipati said.

On the other hand, another party leader Debasis Patnaik termed protests by hurling eggs as against the ‘party culture’