BHUBANESWAR: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said the attack on the convoy of two Union ministers in Odisha’s Bargarh on Friday was a ‘planned action” caused by panic of the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal.
“General election in Odisha is scheduled to be held only in 2019. But, from now itself the earth beneath their (BJDleaders’) feet have started slipping. (Abhi se unke paon ke nichhe ki zameen khisak rahi hai),” Mr Parrikar said.
The senior BJP leader was responding to a question on Friday’s incident at Baragarh where the cavalcade of Union ministers Santosh Gangwar and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was stoned allegedly by the ruling BJD’s activists including MLAs who also carried black flags.
Mr Parrikar also challenged the attackers to face him.
“It (attack on ministers’ convoy) was a planned action. I condemn it. If anyone has guts, come in front of me,” he told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
Stating that the people of Odisha are peace loving and therefore no one needs security in Bhubaneswar, Mr Parrikar said, “As the former chief minister of Goa, I know that there are about 15,000 Odia people in Goa. They are absolutely humble and peaceful like the people of Goa. Therefore, one need not have security cover here. However, no one can do anything, if things are planned and executed.”
Mr Parrikar was on a visit to Odisha to attend a ‘Vikash Ustav’ of the BJP at Cuttack, two days after the ruling BJD activists allegedly attacked the cavalcade of two union ministers and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda.