Maheswar attacker came in saree: Eyewitness

Puri/Bhubaneswar: Accusations and counter accusations have started flying thick and fast between the ruling BJD and the main opposition Congress following the attack on panchayati raj minister Maheswar Mohanty at Bhoi Sahi in village Alandia under Chandanpur police limits on Monday evening. Maheswar was attacked while attending a party workers` meeting.

The Chandanpur police in the meanwhile has arrested main accused Balabhadra and another Bhubanananda Sarangi in connection with the attack on Maheswar. The Puri Sadar SDPO, Madhav Chandra Sahu said that the police was trying to collect more evidence and investigations were on to find out the motive behind the attack.

However, eye witnesses said that Balabhadra who made the fatal attack on Maheswar with a heavy iron rod was dressed in a saree and it was a pre-planned attack. While the BJD leaders saw the Congress party behind the attack, the opposition Congress has denied the allegations and said that it was desperate attempt by the ruling BJD to garner sympathy of the voters for the panchayat polls.

Accused BJD leader Ramkrushna Dasmohapatra,"The Congress was getting frustrated for being out of power. So it orchestrated the attack." However, denying BJD accusations, Sarat Rath, Puri District Congress President said,"The BJD workers were feeling alienated from the leaders and ministers. It happened because the leaders enjoying power distanced themselves from workers. The attack was a reflection of that frustration among BJD workers. The Congress has nothing to do with it."

Not just local politicians but also senior leaders of both the parties have started a slanging match over the attack. Said BJD`s Puri Lok Sabha member Pinaki Mishra,"The attack was orchestrated by the Congress workers as it was frustrated over its regular defeats in all the elections and in no position to come back to power." In his reaction Congress leader and former Brahmagiri MLA Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra said,"The attack was a fallout of the internal politics within the BJD.The Congress has no link with it."

The condition of Maheswar Mohanty who has been admitted to the Kalinga hospital was stated to be stable and he was out of danger. The panchayati raj minister received seven stitches on his head due to the attack. Said Dr Bhabani Dash, head of the department of neurosurgery,"CT scan reports suggested that there was no sign of any internal injury."

Chief minister Naveen Patanaik today went to the Kalinga hospital to meet Maheswar Mohanty. Naveen has strongly condemned the attack on the panchayati raj minister.