Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 17:
Congress workers today demonstrated in front of the Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to the Governor demanding a CBI inquiry into the excesses committed by the police at Kendrapara and resignation of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
While Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Prasad Harichandan led the march from Congress Bhawan here to the Raj Bhawan, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Narasingh Mishra, AICC deputy in-charge of Odisha Subhankar Sarkar and several senior leaders of the party joined the march.
“The BJD’s links with the fraudster Sarathi Baba has been thoroughly exposed in the Kendrapara Sarathi case. The Chief Minister’s direct involvement in the case has also been exposed. There have been police excesses in Kendrapara, firing at Namtara, suppression by the police at Belabahali, shooting down of an innocent couple by the police in Kandhamal after falsely branding them Maoists. Atrocities by the police are on the rise. It is terrorism by the police; the state has been converted to a police state. The Chief Minister is doubling up as the Home Minister. Therefore, we are staging this demonstration demanding his resignation,” said PCC chief Prasad Harichandan.
“We demand the Chief Minister should express his sorrow for what happened in Kendrapara to protect the black deeds of a so called Baba. He should apologize before the people for what happened in Kendrapara. Is it because a host of evidences have come up about the ruling party’s connection with the fraud Baba that the Chief Minister is silent? Why is Naveen Babu silent? The Congress asks Naveen Babu; “Why are you silent?” queried Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Narasingh Mishra.
The BJD, on the other hand, has said that the government has taken appropriate steps and action in the Kendrapara case and would not spare anyone who is found guilty. The ruling party claimed that it is a race between the BJP and Congress to prove to the other that it is the second party after BJD.
“Our government is not sitting silent on the Sarathi Baba matter. You can have a look at our government’s track record on incidents in the past; our government has always acted tough and has taken action while sparing none who is guilty. We have put Sarathi Baba behind bars. We have also taken action against the SP against whom there are allegations. The government has not stopped at that, the Crime Branch is inquiring into who were responsible for proliferation and spread of the Baba’s illegal empire. Action will certainly be taken against those who are found guilty. You will have to admit that the progress of the inquiry by the Crime Branch has been satisfactory so far. This is an attempt between the Congress and the BJP to prove that it is the second party in the state,” said Pratap Jena, BJD spokesperson.