Condolences pour in for Bansidhar Panda; Naveen targeted for not paying last respects

Bhubaneswar: While leaders from across the country offered their condolences on the demise of noted industrialist Bansidhar Panda, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and BJD leaders were further criticised today for not turning up to pay their last respects to the departed soul.

In reply to a tweet of Bansidhar Panda’s son and MP Baijayant Panda where he had informed about the sudden demise of his father, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed her condolences and prayed that his family have the strength to bear with this loss.

Likewise, Madhya Pradesh CM, Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his grief and extended his deepest condolences to Baijayant and family on the ‘sudden demise of Bansidhar Panda, founder of  IMFA and one of the pioneering industrialists of India.’

Similarly, senior Congress leader Rajeev Shukla stated that he is saddened to know about the demise of Bansidhar Panda, an architect of modern industrial revolution in Odisha.

On the other hand, criticism continued to pour in from various politicians and intellectual forums as CM Naveen Patnaik and his party leaders failed to turn up to pay their last respects to Bansidhar Panda.  All opined that the Chief Minister should have gone to pay his tributes at least as a gesture of courtesy.

“The Chief Minister should have visited to pay his last respects as Bansidhar Panda is a renowned industrialist of Odisha and his son Baijayant Panda is still a BJD MP,” said Odisha Congress chief, Niranjan Patnaik.

“Being a Chief Minister he should pay last respects to an enemy even. Is it acceptable that a CM is maintaining enmity with somebody? If someone from BJD has not gone to pay their last respects fearing Naveen, there is nothing more unfortunate and shameful than this,” said veteran BJP leader, Biswabhusan Harichandan.

“It was not right to bring up the political bitterness between Naveen Patnaik and Baijayant Panda on the day of the death of Bansidhar Panda. All of Odisha know about the relationship between Bansidhar Panda and Biju Patnaik. It is an example of mean politics,” said senior journalist, Prasanna Mohanty.

Earlier yesterday, Congress leader Sura Routray had also lambasted Naveen Patnaik and BJD leaders for not turning up to pay respects to Bansidhar Panda. While BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya had termed it as an utter lack of courtesy and humanity, freedom fighter Padmacharan Nayak said it was disrespect of the entire race.

In response to these allegations, BJD leader Arun Sahu today said that the death of Bansidhar Panda is sad news and the Chief Minister had expressed his heartfelt condolences through a message. However, he avoided the question when asked why none from the BJD turned up to pay tributes to Bansidhar Panda.

Surprisingly, though the CM posted his condolences on a WhatsApp group meant for media persons, he had not mentioned anything on his twitter page.