Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 9:
The Opposition Congress today launched a scathing attack on the ruling BJD accusing one of its members of abducting a person during the election to a cooperative society in Odisha’s Bargarh district.
Leader of Opposition and veteran Congress member Narasingha Mishra raised the issue in the Assembly through a Special Mention during zero hours.
Narasingha Mishra alleged that the Handloom and Textile Minister Snehangini Chhuria had abducted an elderly person before the election to Rushuda Credit Cooperative Society under Bheden block of Bargarh district in January this year.
Though an FIR was lodged on January 25, the same was registered on January 29. Despite the minister’s name being mentioned in the FIR, the police dropped her name from the case. In view of this, the police should be liable for this, Mishra said during the zero hours drawing attention of the Speaker.
On the other hand, Snehangini Chhuria refuted the allegations saying the case was politically motivated and baseless.
‘‘The allegations are politically motivated and I am ready to face any inquiry whether it’s Crime Branch of CBI. I have faith in judiciary and let the law take its own course,’’ Chhuria told newsmen outside the House.
The leader of Opposition sought reply from the government on this issue within 48 hours.
It may be recalled that a youth Durga Prasad Ranbida hailing from Hatagaon village at Bheden police station had lodged a complaint with Bargarh police alleging abduction of his father– Sugriba Ranbida– by opposition groups to prevent him from exercising his franchise. The youth alleged that three youths, backed by handloom and textile minister Snehangini Chhuria, kidnapped his father Sugriba Ranabida before election.
Three persons were detained and released after the election was over on January 25.
The second phase elections for 11 zones of Rushuda Credit Cooperative Society were held on January 25 in which two candidates had filed their nominations from Zone 15 of the society. While Sadananda Khamari got four votes and declared winner from the zone, his opponent Mayadhar Mallick received only three votes.
Sugriba, who was supporting Mallick, could not case his vote as he was allegedly abducted by his opponents and released after the polls were over.