Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 3:

A day after Malkangiri district administration denied security clearance for Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s tour of the district, uncertainty looms large over his tour scheduled for tomorrow. Odisha BJP, meanwhile, saw government conspiracy aimed at playing down the Japanese Encephalitis deaths behind the move.

BJP-press-meet samir mohanty

Even though the district administration made it clear that the decision was taken based solely on security considerations given the bandh call issued by Maoists, the state unit of BJP alleged that the decision was politically motivated and was taken based on recommendations made by the State Government.

“This is a plot by the State Government. The administrative officials have hatched the conspiracy as directed by the Chief Minister. We denounce it,” said BJP Vice President Samir Mohanty briefing reporters in Bhubaneswar today.

Biju Janata Dal, on the other hand, issued a clarification on the issue and stood by the decision of the district administration.

“There should be no confusion over the decision. Maoists have issued a bandh call and a red alert have been alarmed all over the area. The Union Minister shouldn’t visit that place. This is what prompted the decision of the district administration,” said BJD Spokesperson Pratap Deb.

Pradhan could not be contacted to confirm his stand on the issue.