President’’s rule move in Orissa unjustified: Naveen Patnaik

October 11th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, Oct 11 (ANI): Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today criticised a reported move by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to consider imposing President’’s rule in his state.

Referring to a demand by opposition parties for dismissal of his government, the 62-year-old Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader said, “It is totally unjustified and politically motivated.”

“My government is doing its best to bring the situation under control,” he added.

He further added, “There have been violent incidents and communal clashes in other states as well. Why should only the Orissa Government be targeted?”

Patnaik also refuted charges that the BJD- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was acting in complicity with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal, adding that a number of persons arrested for communal violence in the state belonged to these two groups.

He further denied that the recent violence has dented his secular image and that the minorities feel let down by him after Kandhamal.

“I feel I have not let down anyone in my state to whichever community they belong,” he said, while condemning the incidents of communal violence there as “horrible and shameful”.

On charges that he had not handled the situation properly and had acted as a puppet in the hands of saffron outfits, Patnaik said the state government had tried to deal with the situation sternly and had also “acted with sympathy as far as victims are concerned”.

“Crime Branch has begun inquiry into the violence that began from August 23 and judicial enquiry has also been ordered,” he said.

While ruling out a parting of ways with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Patnaik clearly hinted that the BJD-BJP alliance would continue in the state owing to the “mathematics of seat sharing,” and that the “alliance is there for more than ten years.

“We have won parliamentary, assembly, panchayats and municipal elections. We are sanguine with our victories,” he added.

On October 8, the Union Cabinet had an indepth discussion on the impact of the anti-Christian violence in Orissa and in other parts of the country.

The murder of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Laxmanananda Saraswati in August sparked weeks of violence against Christians in Orissa’’s Kandhamal district.

State police blamed Maoist rebels for the killing of Saraswati.

Police have arrested about 1,000 people, mostly Hindus, in connection with the attacks on Christians in Orissa.

Hindu groups, however, deny their involvement in the violence. (ANI)

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