Clarify ‘donkey’ remark, BJD dares Dharmendra Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb has sought a clarification from Union Petroleum minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan over the latter’s ‘donkey’ remark at the farmers rally addressed by the Prime Minister on Sunday.

“If the Petroleum minister didn’t aim the donkey remark at the people of Odisha, then he has to clarify who it was meant for,” Deb asked today.

“I have listened to the speech of the Petroleum minister while I was in a discussion panel. The moment I came across the remark, I criticized it. In his speech, Pradhan made a remark that the population of cows and buffaloes have declined in Odisha while that of donkeys have increased. Everyone is aware that there is no donkey farming in Odisha. Hence, he has to clarify whom it was aimed at if not at the people of Odisha,” the BJD spokesperson said.

Responding to BJD’s demand, BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said; “It is quite clear that the the Union minister was referring to the incompetence of the ruling-BJD. The state government’s incompetence is proven by the fact that more than 270 farmers have committed suicide in the State this year, while the government is in a state of denial. The distressed farmers are yet to receive drought assistance. Another example of its incompetence is in the field of industrialization, which has only seen companies deserting the State.”

On being asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t even utter a word on the state government’s incompetence during his Bargah visit, Harichandan clarified “The forum and the platform was not a political one and given his stature and position in office, it would have been inappropriate for him to slam the State government.”