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BJP stages state-wide protest against ‘criminalisation of politics’ in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Opposition BJP on Monday staged sit-in demonstrations across Odisha to protest the “criminalisation of politics” in the state.

The BJP legislature party also submitted a memorandum to Governor Ganeshi Lal demanding a special session over the issue.

The agitating BJP leaders claimed that crime against women has reached its zenith during the 22 years of BJD rule and that some ministers and MLAs of the ruling party were involved in various crimes.

The BJP’s sit-in demonstrations, named ‘Satyagraha’, coincided with the BJD’s silver jubilee celebration in Puri during the day.

The saffron party workers and leaders staged sit-in demonstrations in all 30 districts of the state for four hours.

They carried placards highlighting the “criminalisation of politics” and crimes against women.

In Bhubaneswar, BJP’s state unit chief Samir Mohanty led a protest near the state headquarters of the saffron party.

Mohanty alleged that BJD leaders who often claim that “law will take its own course” are themselves involved in heinous crimes such as the murder of witnesses, rapes and kidnapping.

“The BJD government has patronised criminalisation of politics in Odisha. Several MLAs, ministers and ruling party leaders are involved in criminal activities such as murders and violence against women,” Mohanty said.

He alleged that Odisha has turned out to be a safe haven for criminals during the BJD regime.

A delegation of BJP MLAs under the leadership of the party’s chief whip Mohan Majhi met the governor and submitted a memorandum to him, requesting a special session of the assembly to discuss the criminalisation of politics, and the law and order situation, particularly crimes against women.

In the memorandum, the BJP lawmakers alleged that the role of BJD MLA and former minister D S Mishra in the kidnapping-murder of a woman teacher in Kalahandi is suspected.

They claimed that the recent death of prime accused Govind Sahu inside a prison has raised further suspicion as the deceased’s wife has alleged that he died due to murder and not suicide as claimed by the police.

The saffron lawmakers also alleged the roles of sitting MLAs Arun Sahoo and Pratap Jena in the Nayagarh kidnapping-murder of a girl and Mahanga double-murder cases respectively, and that of School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash in the murder of Nimapara Zilla Parishad member Dharmendra Sahoo.

Rejecting the BJP’s allegations, BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty said that the saffron party is not finding any issue to corner the government, hence it is digging cases that have either already been probed or are being investigated.

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