Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 5:
Congress leaders may love to use the name of Mahatma Gandhi at every possible opportunity, but they clearly have forgotten his principles of non-violence- as it was evident today. On the second consecutive day when eggs were pelted at a minister, Odisha Unit of Congress came out in open to support the method as a political tool against their rivals.
While Odisha Congress Spokesperson Debasis Patnaik denounced the incidents and said that his party believes in Gandhism, he was too weak a voice to make a difference.
On the same day of Patnaik’s denouncement on the incidents, PCC President Prasad Harichandan himself indirectly supported it along with other party veterans including Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra (lulu) and Chief Whip of Congress in Assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
“The leaders and workers of BJD have got the (NFSA) ration cards while the deserving ones have been left out to starve. The government officers are hands in gloves with the leaders. It has hit where it hurts and people are obviously frustrated and angry. This is why the leaders are facing the wrath of the people,” said Harichandan while speaking to reporters today.
“The dissatisfaction is not only limited to common men. It has spread over to the youth and students of the state who have taken to the street,” he added trying to defend the involvement of his party’s student wing NSUI activists in these incidents.
Another senior leader Lulu Mohapatra went a step ahead and supported the incidents directly and frankly. He didn’t even mind using Gandhi’s name to justify his point.
“I have been openly stating that egg pelting is justified and I want to thank those who have done so. Had Mahatma Gandhi been alive today, he would have beaten these men up with lathis,” commented Mohapatra.
Similarly, Bahinipati too echoed a similar sentiment and said, “These men, who work under the bureaucrats without an iota of self-esteem, not only deserve egg pelting but also deserve to be beaten up using lathis”.
Notably, egg pelting is nothing new for Congress or for that matter for Odisha politics.
A one-off incident earlier, it caught mainstream fancy after eggs were hurled at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on February 19, 2015. Among others, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathi and School and Mass Education Minister Devi Prasad Mishra were greeted with eggs during their tours to various districts last November as we reported here.