State

Shoe Attack on CM: BJD, BJP indulge in blame game

Bhubaneswar: The BJD and the BJP on Wednesday blamed each other over the hurling of shoes at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a meeting in Barpali block in Bargarh district in the previous evening, even as mystery shrouded the political links of accused Kartik Meher.

While police officers have been singing different tunes of Meher's political connections and alleged role of certain BJP leaders behind the incident, a section of the media has reported the youth's alleged association with the RSS. According to media reports, Meher was a RSS cadre. Photographs of Meher sporting the RSS uniform of a white shirt and khaki shorts have also shown by certain media houses.

Inspector-in-charge of Padampur police station Jasobant Pradhani,who had earlier in the day said the accused had no political links, changed his version in the afternoon, saying he had no knowledge about Meher's antecedents and had made off-the-cuff remarks based on hearsay. SDPO of Bargarh Sadar Suresh Nayak had on Tuesday quoted the accused of having said that he was instigated by BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi and two other BJP leaders to throw shoes at Naveen. Panigrahi has denied the allegations.

A BJD delegation led by Minister Maheswar Mohanty and BJD general secretary Pradip Panigrahi met the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) at his office l and submitted a memorandum demanding action against the BJP for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

The delegation, apart from demanding the arrest of BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi for his alleged complicity in the shoe hurling incident, alleged that Union Minister Smriti Irani had lured the voters with money during her visit to Bijepur constituency on Tuesday.

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