Puri bandh violence: Opposition turns heat on local MLA and Minister Maheswar Mohanty

Bhubaneswar: Following vandalism & violence during Puri bandh observed last week, opposition parties have turned the heat on the Odisha government alleging Minister Maheswar Mohanty’s involvement and demanded his ouster from cabinet.

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) today questioned the role of Minister Maheswar Mohanty in the entire incident.

BJP legislature party leader, KV Singh Deo stated that ‘”We suspect ransacking of property at Maheswar Mohanty’s residence was done by his own men. All this has been done to gain sympathy of people,” alleged Singh Deo.

Singh Deo further slammed Odisha government’s double-standards in arresting people in the guise of inviting them to a peace committee meeting.

“If Puri Police had necessary video evidence, then why all the persons were not arrested in the first place? Odisha government has failed to resolve such issues for which the law and order situation has gone for a toss in the State,” Singh Deo added.

Expelled BJD leader, Dama Rout too alleged Mohanty’s involvement in violence and demanded that the minister should resign on moral grounds.

“Maheswar Mohanty is now opposing the queue system. What steps did he take when Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) implemented the system? He (Mohanty) should resign on moral grounds,” said Rout.

Rout further took a jibe at the Odisha government and alleged that the large-scale violence at Puri has hurt the sentiments of people in Odisha.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra on the other hand stated that violence on Badadanda and Singhadwara has hurt the sentiments of people and the entire administration was a mute spectator when such agitators went berserk from 7 AM till 3 PM on October 3.

“Odisha government should conduct a detailed probe as a conspiracy is being hatched from outside to defame Puri Srimandir. It is surprising that no steps were taken when such act of violence continued for several hours,” said Mohapatra.

Responding to the allegations levelled by BJP, Mohanty accused the saffron party of creating unrest in Puri.

“Those who were involved in ransacking of property at my residence are BJP supporters. The attackers have been identified through CCTV footage and hence the allegations levelled by BJP are completely baseless,” said Mohanty.