Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 22:
In a letter sent to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik has expressed deep anguish over “the uncivilized statement” of Pradeep Maharathi yesterday and hoped that the Chief Minister will rise beyond partisan considerations and take decisive action against the Agriculture minister.
It may be noted that Pipli MLA and Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathi had bragged about having slapped the then SP and pulled down the dhoti (long cloth worn by men) of a minister in his youth while addressing the annual function of the students’ union of Nirakarpur College.
“Such crude behavior is typical in a few other states in the country. But Odisha has always maintained higher standards in public discourse. Having been in public life for the last four decades, I have not come across an act of greater indiscretion on the part of a cabinet minister. The concerned minister seems to have made a habit of it,” wrote the former Congress Minister in his letter.
“Since you are the Chief Minister of the state and the minister concerned is in the cabinet at your pleasure, the onus is now on you to act decisively to restore public confidence in constitutional functionaries and to prevent further deterioration in public discourse,” he added.
Niranjan also questioned if anything can be more ‘ironic’ and lower standards in public life when youths are advised to be violent in order to inspire them to be courageous.“Should our youth have these kinds of people in public life as role models?” asked Niranjan.