Obscene protest to replace egg attack, hints Lulu

Bhubaneswar: In what appears to be a change in strategy, senior Congress leader Lulu Mohapatra on Friday hinted that party actvists would now resort to obscene protest against ministers in the Naveen Patnaik government, who have been at the receiving end of egg attacks over the last couple of weeks.

The change of strategy appears to have been forced by Thursday’s incident in Cuttack in which student leaders of his party were brutally beaten up after they lobbed eggs at Law minister Arun Sahoo’s vehicle when the latter was on his way to attend a government programme.

Talking to the media, Mohapatra said, “In egg hurling incidents, cases are registered against the offenders under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC. In such instances, our followers are put behind bars. But from now on, we are going to change our strategy. We will ensure that the activists are booked under Section 294 (use of obscene act or song in public) of IPC.”

“If the netas misbehave, we too will resort into that type of behaviour….. The students are doing the right thing,” added he.

But as was only to be expected, the former Brahmagiri MLA’s statement has not gone down well with senior members of the Congress. In what is being seen as a veiled criticism of Mohapatra, Congress spokesperson Ganeswar Behera said the party never encourages such attitude.

“The Congress party doesn’t believe in badmouthing. To press our demands, we always prefer to protest and demonstrate, but never extend it to badmouthing. If any member has hinted about such things, the party will discuss it,” Behera said.

Congress spokesperson Debasis Patnaik too denounced the approach of Mohapatra.

“I have no concrete information about what other members of our party have said on the matter. But one thing I’d like to clarify is that our party believes in Gandhism and we are against any use of derogatory language or comments. The party will never encourage such behaviours,” Patnaik said.