Health minister shown black flags in Cuttack; 4 arrested

Cuttack: In another instance of ruling BJD ministers being targeted by Congress members, Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak was shown black flags in Cuttack during his visit to attend a program at Acharya Harihar Cancer Hospital today.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed when a group of youth Congress members obstructed the vehicle of Atanu, waving black flags and shouting slogans. Four persons have been arrested by police after the incident.

According to sources, Police had heightened security to prevent any untoward incident in the wake of a spate of egg hurling attacks on ministers. But the additional measures were clearly not good enough. As soon as the minister arrived at the Acharya Harihar Cancer Hospital, the Congress members started shouting anti-government slogans and waved black flags at him. However, the mob was soon brought under control by police, informed sources.

Commenting on the matter, BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy said “Congress has totally lost its identity. It is resorting to such steps to garner attention. It is wrong to term these instances as a reflection of public dissent. It is an attack by Congress.”

“If the party has any grievances then it should raise its voice in a democratic manner,” he added.

On the other hand, Congress spokesperson, Biswaranjan Mohanty said; “If black flags are shown then I have no problems with it as it a legitimate form of protest in a democracy. However, the party doesn’t believe and support any form of violent protests like egg hurling.”

Youth Congress workers, it may be noted, had hurled eggs on Nayak’s car in Deograh district on Tuesday while he was on his way back after a visit to Sambalpur.

Notably, over the past few days, youth Congress activities have unleashed a spate of attacks on various ministers purportedly in protest against irregularities in preparation of NFSA beneficiary list.