.........BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, on Monday, came down heavily on the ruling BJD for unleashing a reign of terror on the streets of the State.
“Saddened by violence and hooliganism of ruling BJD during ‘hartal’. Disruption of essential services like ambulance is most unfortunate,” Pradhan said in a series of tweets.Claiming that the hartal (against petrol price hike) was targeted against him, Pradhan said, he has no objection to BJD criticising him but the ruling party should refrain from hurting the public. “In a democratic system, everyone has a right to protest but no one is above law. Attack on the freedom and rights of the people is undemocratic and such violation should be strongly dealt with,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP Yuva Morcha has announced to stage demonstration before offices of all the district superintendents of police on Tuesday to protest the failure of the police to protect the common citizens from the BJD hooligans.Dubbing the hartal as a State-sponsored terrorism, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said the act of mindless vandalism displayed by the ruling party members on the streets is another example of the dictatorial mindset of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Government’s intolerance towards opposition criticism.
Purohit said the ruling party, unnerved by the rising popularity of the BJP and Amit Shah’s ‘Mission 120’ target, pre-empted a State-wide hartal just to prevent the farmers wing of the BJP from holding a rally near Raj Bhavan. Though the State unit of the BJP Krushak Morcha had announced to hold a dharna near Raj Bhavan demanding waiver of farm loan and interest-free loan to the farmers, Morcha activists were not allowed to reach the venue by BJD workers assisted by the Commissionerate Police, he said.
Alleging that BJD workers abused Krushak Morcha activists and hurled stones at them, Purohit said the unruly supporters of the ruling party were led by some senior leaders including Debi Prasad Mishra, Arun Sahu, Sanjay Dasbarma and Pranab Prakash Das.However, braving the resistance put up by the BJD workers and the Commissionerate Police, Krushak Morcha activists took out a rally near Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum to Government SC Jamir on their twin demands.