Warning to Orissa to stop violence unfortunate: PatnaikSeptember 19th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, Sep 19 (IANS) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday described as “unfortunate” the warning issued by the Indian government to the state over attacks on Christians and churches.The home ministry Thursday issued the warning under article 355 of the constitution, which seeks to ensure that state governments function with due respect to constitutional provisions.
“The centre’s move is unfortunate and politically motivated,” Patnaik told mediapersons here.
“There are disturbances in many parts of the country but they have chosen two states where the Congress is not ruling,” he said, referring to Orissa and Karnataka. Karnataka too has witnessed anti-Christian violence.
“From the very start of the tragic incidents in Kandhamal, my government has tried to do its best to maintain peace and order,” Patnaik said.
“But the central government has been very slow in sending (paramilitary) forces. Even now the state government has not got adequate forces to deal with the situation,” said Patnaik, who heads the coalition government of his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
BJP state president Suresh Pujari said the move by the central government was politically motivated. “The Congress has a history of destabilising non-Congress governments,” he said.
At least 25 people - mostly Christians - have been killed in Orissa in violence sparked off by the gunning down of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader.