Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rourkela, Jun 6:
With the state unit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a fix over Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray’s boycott of the Vikas Utsav here over delay in upgradation of Ispat General Hospital (IGH), two Union Ministers who were scheduled to address the rally cancelled their visit to the Steel City giving rise to speculations.
According to party sources, Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar won’t be attending BJP’s Vikas Utsav event here. The two Union Ministers had to return from Lucknow due to ‘bad weather’.
“The two Union Ministers have cancelled their visit to Rourkela as the flight in which they were to fly was cancelled due to inclement weather,” senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said.
While Oram tried his best to put a lid over the controversy arising due to local MLA Dilip Ray’s boycott, speculation is rife that the Central ministers stayed away from the event to avoid any embarrassment.
When asked whether Tomar had passed on any information on any announcement regarding IGH, the Sundargarh MP Jual Oram replied in negative.
“I have not talked to him. His PS (private secretary) has spoken to my PS. He hasn’t given any message on IGH,” Oram added.
It may be mentioned that Dilip Ray left for Kolkata last night despite efforts from party leaders to persuade him to attend the function, which is the second in the state to mark the completion of two years of NDA rule at the Centre.
Notably, the lawmaker was aggrieved with the tardy progress of the upgradation of IGH hospital to a super speciality hospital-cum-medical college as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the city 14 months ago in April last year.