Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Boudh, Nov 4:
Odisha ministers continue to face the heat from opposition BJP during their tour to various districts over the drought situation in the state.
As many as 15 BJP supporters were arrested by Boudh Police today for showing black flags and agitating during the tour of School & Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das to the district.
Both the ministers were in an official tour of the district to attend a review meeting. BJP members, however, came out in a procession and shouted slogans against the ministers and government at NAC square of Boudh asking them to visit the drought affected areas of the district first.
Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently asked all the ministers and secretaries to visit various districts on the first four days of the week to hold review meeting to analyse progress of developmental projects. The tours, however, have run into muddy waters after Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sudam Marandi yesterday were shown black fags by BJP members yesterday.
While Maharathi was shown black flags near Nanuhandi village in Patnagarh and at Mahulibahali village in Turekela block in Bolangir district, Marandi was shown black flags during his visit to Ganjam district yesterday.
While BJP stood besides its workers and supported the protests, ruling BJD tried to downplay the incidents and main opposition Congress ridiculed the government over its style of functioning.
“The ministers have already confessed that the collectors and secretaries do not listen to them. Ministers touring various districts under such conditions are nothing but a farce,” said Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra.
“BJD is scared as a BJP delegation and another Central Government team is touring various drought affected districts. The ministers are touring districts only to impress the voters,” said BJP Vice President Pratap Sarangi.