Shoes hurled at CM Naveen Patnaik

Bargarh: Tension ran high after shoes were hurled at Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik while he was addressing a public meeting during campaigning for Bijepur bypoll for party candidate Rita Sahu at Kumbhari village in Barpali block of Bargarh today.

The incident occurred at around 6 PM when Patnaik was about to wrap up his speech at a public meeting.

A youth, who was sitting in the front row, reportedly hurled shoes at the Chief Minister.

Though, the visuals suggest that the CM might have been hit by one of the shoes, the alert personal security officers (PSO) immediately swung into action and tried to fend off the attack.

Following the incident, police and other security personnel present at the spot immediately caught hold of the youth and took him into custody.

The accused youth has been identified as Kartik Meher and has been admitted to Barpali hospital.

Meher was thrashed allegedly by BJD activists and local villagers who were present at the spot. Meher has been admitted to Barpali hospital and has denied affiliation with any political party.

BJD MLA Debesh Acharya alleged the incident to be the handiwork of BJP and said that the saffron party promotes such kind of hooliganism.

BJD Vice President Surya Narayan Patro termed it as a sponsored act and such incident is ‘condemnable in a democracy’.

BJP MLA Pradip Purohit on the other refuted such allegations levelled by BJD.

“BJP activists are not involved in the incident. The incident manifests the anger of common people towards the present BJD-led government,” said Purohit.

Odisha BJP President Basant Panda said that his party believes in democracy and not violence.

“The ruling party itself is responsible for such acts,” said Panda.

On the other hand the accused youth said “Politicians should not come here and give speeches; denies having any political affiliation.”