Opposition attacks BJD over disrespect to tricolour

December 28th, 2010 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, Dec 28 (IANS) The opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday demanded action against the alleged disrespect to the national flag during a function of Orissa’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, several of his ministerial colleagues and other party leaders were present at BJD’s foundation day function here Sunday. The event featured a flag in India’s national colours with a conch shell (the BJD symbol) and ‘Biju Janata Dal’ painted on it.

Opposition legislators also alleged that the Ashok Chakra was missing from the flag.

Controversy erupted after the person who had brought the flag said on a television show that it was a national flag and was used to cover the mortal remains of late Biju Patnaik, the chief minister’s father, before his last rites in 1997.

Some organisations also lodged police complaints late Monday.

A senior police officer, refusing to be named, said complaints had been received but no case has yet been registered.

“The national flag was insulted as it had the inscription of the Biju Janata Dal. This is in gross violation of the flag code of India and offence has been made under the prevention of insults to national honour act of 1971,” said Anil Kumar Dhir, one of the complainants.

However, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik brushed aside the allegations.

“As far as I am concerned, there is absolutely no question of showing any disrespect to our national flag,” Patnaik told reporters.

But the opposition parties remain adamant.

“The chief minister himself has shown disrespect to the national flag and insulted the constitution. He should apologise in public,” former state unit president of BJP Suresh Pujari said.

State Congress spokesman Kailash Acharya said Patnaik and other BJD leaders had committed a serious offence and action should be taken against them.

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