Govt hand in glove with Maoists:Opposition

Bhubaneswar: Hitting out at the BJD government over the abduction of a tribal MLA, the opposition Congress and BJP in state today accused it of being hand in glove with Maoists and pushing the state into anarchy by ignoring Centre`s advisories. "The BJD government is hand in glove with Maoists. It was clear when Maoist-backed panchayat representatives supported BJD candidates in recent zilla parishad elections in Koraput," Leader of Opposition in state assembly Bhupinder Singh told reporters here.

Terming the allegation as completely false and baseless, government chief whip in assembly Rudra Narayan Pani said it is not the time to politicise the issue.

Terming the situation as grave, Singh said though a notice for adjournment motion had been moved in the assembly on the issue of the MLA`s abduction, the house was adjourned abruptly after chief minister Naveen Patnaik`s statement. He appealed to the people at large and civil society to take up the issue as it was a matter of concern for the entire state and not of the Opposition party only.

In a similar vein, BJP leader and former minister Jaynarayan Mishra alleged that there is an understanding between the BJD government and Maoists. "How can the common people be safe in Odisha where an MLA has been abducted by Maoists," he wondered.

Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan accused that the state was witnessing "complete anarchy and lawlessness" as the state government is allegedly using its intelligence machinery for political purposes instead of taking stock of Maoist menace.

The Centre had cautioned the state government several times, saying Maoists would take drastic steps like targeting politicians, Harichandan said. However, the state government paid "no heed" to the Centre`s advice, he said, adding Patnaik had even opposed the NCTC. Today`s incident is the outcome of the state government`s act of "ignoring" the Centre`s advice, Harichandan said, adding the incident took place while negotiation is going on to end the Italian hostage crisis.

Earlier, the Maoists had killed a police sub-inspector and two other police personnel in Malkangiri and Koraput districts respectively and finally they abducted the MLA, the senior Congress leader said. Harichandan said the Centre provided 15 battalions of central para-military forces, huge funds for police modernisation and chopper for anti-Maoist operations, but the state "did not take any step or strategy to combat the menace".