BJP MLAs’ team to visit Manamunda tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: Hours after the brutal assault on BJP activists showing black flag at Food Supply minister Sanjay Dasburma at Manamunda in Boudh district, the saffron party has decided to send a committee of its legislature party to the spot tomorrow to take stock of the situation.

“A team of the BJP legislature party led by KV Singhdeo will visit the spot at Manamunda in Boudh district tomorrow to take stock of the situation”, BJP general secretary Prithivraj Harichandan said at a press conference here.

“As we have all seen today that BJP activists were assaulted brutally by the BJD leaders in the presence of police following which three of our workers have been hospitalised in a critical condition. We condemn the incident and thank party workers who protested against the misrule of Naveen Patnaik government,” he said adding BJP will continue to protest against the ruling party’s hooliganism.

Harichandan pointed out that hooliganism of the ruling party clearly shows their frustration and Naveen Patnaik’s lost faith on democracy.

BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said the activists were showing black flag protesting against gross irregularities in the distribution of ration cards under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). “While they were waiting to meet the Food minister Sanjay Dasburma and ask him the reason for withdrawing thousands of ration cards and imposing fines on some beneficiaries, BJD MLA from Begunia and a corporator from Bhubaneswar got down from minister’s car and beat BJP workers mercilessly with their other workers. The incident shows that the BJD is worried about its failure in all sectors,” Sharma said. “We condemn such activities of the ruling party and call upon the chief minister and BJD chief to restrain his party workers from such things”, he added.

The BJP leader further stated that not only in Manamunda, but BJD’s hooliganism was also seen at Daruthenga today where the government engaged forces to beat the villagers while they were protesting for their legitimate demands. Similar scenes were also enacted by the ruling party members in the CMC meeting today, Sharma maintained.

BJD MLA from Begunia Prashant Kumar Jagdev, who led the charge against the protesting BJP workers, however, gave an altogether different take on the incident. “In the name of showing black flags, the BJP activists wanted to kill us. All that we did was to act in self defence,” he said.

Meanwhile, members of the BJP Yuva Morcha and Women’s Wing blocked the road at Master Canteen square here by burning tyres and protested against what they called the holiganism of the ruling party leaders. “We will continue our protest till all those who attacked our workers in Manamunda are oput behind the bars,” a Yuva Morcha leader said.

Earlier in the day, Begunia MLA Prashant Jagdev and his supporters thrashed BJP activists showing black flags to Food Supply minister Sanjay Dasburma at Manamunda in Boudh district today while he was on his way to attend a rally organized by the Youth wing of BJD to protest the proposed projects by Chhattisgarh government on the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi. The leaders and workers of the ruling party accompanying the minister were seen beating up BJP workers and even kicking them in the face.

Following the incident, Boudh district president of BJP Yuva Morcha lodged a complaint against five BJD men, including ministers Pushpendra Singhdeo, Sanjay Dasburma, MLA Prashant Jagdev, corporators Amresh Jena and Vijay Nayak at Manamunda police station.