Bijepur Bypoll: BJP, BJD Blame Each Other On Shoe Hurling Incident

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Bhubaneswar(PTI): A day after the shoe hurling incident on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a poll meeting in Bargarh district, the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP today traded charges over the affiliation of the attacker.

“I have no connection with the accused and the statement of the police clearly states that an attempt is being made by the ruling BJD to falsely implicate me in this incident,” BJP candidate for the Bijepur Assembly segment, Ashok Panigrahi said.

Alleging that the local police is working at the behest of the ruling BJD, Panigrahi said: “Let the police verify the call records of the mobile phone of the accused.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan condemned the shoe hurling incident and said: “This shows failure of the intelligence in the state. How the police could not get prior indication about the incident?”

The attacker, identified as Kartik Meher, had hurled a pair of shoes at Patnaik.

Meher is a resident of Buddhapalli under Padmapur police station area of Bargarh.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram of the BJP said that the accused was a known mischief monger and the police could have detained him prior to the chief minister’s visit.

“Meher had shown black flags during his earlier visit to Bargarh district,” Oram said.

Meanwhile, the BJD workers today staged a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Janata Maidan here protesting the shoe attack on the chief minister.

A delegation of the BJD, led by Odisha’s revenue and disaster management minister Maheswar Mohanty, also met the Director General of Police (DGP) R P Sharma and submitted a memorandum demanding stern action against the accused and others involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against Meher.

Meher, who was allegedly thrashed by angry locals after the incident has been admitted to Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) at Burla.

Based on the accused’s statement, police has begun investigation.

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