Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 9:
The new tribal face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and former Chief Minister of Odisha Giridhar Gamang on Wednesday filed a complaint with Jeypore police against Congress members for burning his effigy and photographs at his constituency on the day he joined the BJP.
The nine-time MP from Koraput constituency and former Odisha Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang who joined Congress last month, has filed an FIR at Jeypore Town Police station against four persons, including two youth Congress leaders, who allegedly burnt his effigy and photographs to ‘defame’ him and create a negative perception in the minds of public and tribals, in particular, in his constituency.
“I tendered my resignation to Sonia Gandhi on May 30 and formally joined BJP at state headquarters here on June 18. On the same day, the said persons burnt my effigy at Jeypore. I exercised my freedom given by the Constitution under Sec 19 and joined BJP. I resigned from the Congress due to the humiliation I suffered from 1999 to 2015 for voting on Confidence motion in Lok Sabha on April 17, 1999. Though I voted as per the whip issued by the party, neither the Congress nor its leaders protected me from public criticism,” Gamang said in his complaint.
Fearing for his son Sishir and his life, the senior Gamang said: “These people have intentionally tried to stop and encroach upon my Fundamental Rights given to me by the Constitution of India. The rights which I am referring to are– Right to Freedom of Speech, Expression, Choice and the Right to practice any profession or occupation. Their actions literally translate into aggression or intentions to indulge in something similar or worse has created fear inside me about the unimaginable consequences these people are capable of creating; which in turn has put the life of my son Shishir Gamang and particularly me at risk.”
Besides arresting the culprits and the abettors, Gamang urged to slap sections under the SC & ST Atrocities Act under Chapter II Offence of Atrocities (x) for causing him mental and psychological agony due to the incident.
The four accused have been identified as – Biswajit Dandsena (vice president Youth Congress, Jeypore), Sukant Patnaik (president Youth Congress, Jeypore); Balaram Panigrahi and P Ramesh Rao allegedly having affiliation to the party.