Union minister criticises Odisha govt over security

Bhubaneswar: Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav today came down heavily on the Odisha government for not providing him with an adequate security cover as per protocol.

“The state government did not provide me with security as per protocol. This is the first time I saw this kind of a behaviour of a state government towards a Union minister,” he told reporters after arriving here on a two-day visit.

Expressing displeasure over the security provided to him, the Union Minister of State for Rural Development said, “Providing security to visiting Union ministers is the responsibility of the state government. But, I fail to understand why security arrangements have not been made for me. Who will be responsible if someone kills me?”

State Home department sources, however, claimed that proper security arrangements could not be made as the government received a fax message about the Union minister’s visit only at 2.04 pm.

“We will certainly provide the required security to the Union minister immediately as per protocol. The Union minister’s office delayed in informing the state government of his visit,” a Home department official said.

Yadav alleged that the state government denied him adequate security as he had “exposed” the administration for “misleading” the people in the sphere of rural development during his previous Odisha tour.

“They are yet to forget my action of exposing the state government,” he said.

“Though I have come here to campaign for the panchayat polls, the state has a duty to look after my security,” the Union minister added.

BJP sources said Yadav will campaign for the BJP candidates in the state on February 10 and 11.