Odisha govt insensitive towards women: Shobha Oza

Cuttack: The Congress party on Thursday targeted the ruling BJD for ‘patronising’ an alcohol culture in the State.

Addressing a gathering of party activists and followers here, All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) chief and party spokesperson Shobha Oza castigated the State government for not taking steps to stop narcotics trade.

“The women in Odisha are reeling under the terror of the trade which had led to an upsurge in the crime rate across the State,” Oza stated.

“The Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government has turned a blind eye to women’s issues as it gets huge money in the form of excise duty from the trade,” stated the AIMC chief adding the party would go to any extent to make Odisha liquor-free.

Holding placards with anti-liquor slogans, hundreds of party followers took part in a rally in the silver city and presented a memorandum to the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC).

“We are not going to stop here. If the government fails to take any concrete step to make Odisha liquor free, we will hit streets and will show the government the power of women,” State Mahila Congress president Sasmita Behera said.

The meeting also raised the Namtara anti-liquor campaign issue in which over a hundred villagers, including women, were injured when police opened fire and resorted to baton charge on the protesters, who were demanding closure of a wine shop in Namatara village in Kendrapara district last March.

“The Odisha government had ordered an RDC inquiry on the matter. One year has passed; how much time will it take for the report?” asked Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan.

The OPCC chief also flayed the State government for having ‘links’ with mafias and for failing to control prices of commodities.