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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Sep 13:

Hours after making an announcement to oppose Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy’s day-long tour of Bolangir tommrrow, BJP workers this evening pelted eggs at Maharathy’s car.

(file pic)
(file pic)

The incident took place at Sudapada level crossing late this evening while Maharathy was on his way to Bolangir and his vehicle had stopped near the level crossing. Apart from egg pelting that missed the minister as the car window was rolled up, few other BJP workers waved black flags at him and shouted anti-government slogans.

Maharathy’s travel route was changed immediately to avoid any further incident. According to reports, local police have detained few BJP activists in connection with the incident.

“Earlier in the day, I told you that we will oppose the tour of the minister to the town. Today’s incident is part of that. The agitation and opposition will be further intensified tomorrow,” said BJP Bolangir Spokesperson Prabhat Panigrahy speaking to reporters while being taken away in a police van.

The Minister, however, denied being pelted eggs even though the incident was caught in the camera. He further explained that his travel route was changed as he wanted to travel around the town a bit.

Maharathy is staying the circuit house of the town for the night. Tight security arranegements have been made to avoid any untoward situation. Apart from police, scores of BJD activists were also seen roaming near the place to provide additional security cover.

Notably, on August 18, Maharathy had dared BJP to try and oppose his tour to Bolangir. He had threatened that he would ensure that no union minister will get to visit Pipli, if he faces opposition in Bolangir.

Reacting to the development, BJP Bolangir along with its Mahila morcha today asked the minister to take back his words and apologise. Besides, they warned of stiff opposition to the tour, should he press on without an apology.