Bargarh incident hit nadir in Odisha’s history: Arun Singh

Bhubaneswar: Alleging rampant corruption at all levels, BJP national general secretary Arun Singh on Monday said the Bargarh incident in which a union minster’s convoy was attacked and his vehicle damaged was ‘disgraceful’.

Addressing the media after attending the party’s demonstration in front of Governor’s House, Singh said; “The June 24 incident is the most condemnable incident in the history of Odisha. First the ministers were warned not to come to Odisha, and then they (BJD workers) tore posters of our party. On reaching Bargarh, the minsters were shown black flags. But when the ministers thought that they must visit the people to disseminate information on various welfare schemes and implementation of some other projects, they were subjected to a murderous attack. Is it way the ministers should be welcomed?”

Maintaining that the BJD had failed miserably to meet the expectations of the people in its 16-year long rule, the BJP leader said there is no water and no electricity in rural areas.

“There is rampant corruption in ration card distribution and the government is involved in every act of corruption. It is a corrupt government,” said Singh.

The saffron party’s national general secretary Suresh Pujari said, “We suspect that the Odisha Police are not collecting information properly to establish Section 307 of IPC slapped against the perpetrators.”

Meanwhile the BJD pooh-poohed the claims made by the saffron party.

“Now a days, there is a fight between the two (BJP and Congress), to be in second position after BJD. The BJP is in the process of executing its strategy meticulously, how it will be able to snatch the second position to become the main Opposition in the Odisha Assembly. And we have nothing to say in this. In the Bargarh incident, action has been taken. In all the cases, be it Motilal Gouda or Papu Pom Pom, action has been taken by the State government. In rural areas, about 98% beneficiaries have received ration cards. They (political parties) are making all issues political. It is purely a political fight between the BJP and the BJD,” BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash said.

Notably, four days after the convoy of two Union ministers was attacked allegedly by BJD workers at Bargarh, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on June 28, ordered an administrative inquiry into the incident which had evoked widespread condemnation. The Revenue Divisional Commissioner (North) was asked to conduct the inquiry into the attack on the convoy of Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar and Union Minister of state for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

The RDC has been asked to complete the inquiry and give the report within 60 days.