Naveen to attend office tomorrow despite BJD shutdown call

Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik and his council of ministers would attend offices at the state secretariat tomorrow despite his BJD being among the eight non-Congress parties to call a 12-hour bandh.

Updated: Jul 04, 2010, 22:24 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik and his council of ministers would attend offices at
the state secretariat tomorrow despite his BJD being among the
eight non-Congress parties to call a 12-hour bandh protesting
the UPA`s decision to hike fuel prices.

"The chief minister is scheduled to attend office
tomorrow," a senior official at the chief minister`s office
said here.

This apart, official sources said, all other ministers
had been asked to attend offices at the state secretariat.

"We are in the government. Though we have full support
to our partymen for the hartal, the ministers can`t become
part of it due to constitutional obligations," a senior
minister said.

The officials of secretariat and heads of departments
were also instructed to reach their respective offices
before 10:15 am, sources said.

While the BJD had earlier called for ensuring closure
of all central government offices and CPSUs in the state, six
other supporting parties - CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, RJD, SP
and JMM were in favour of shutting down state government
offices as well.

The ruling party had in an affidavit assured the
Orissa High Court that law and order would be maintained
during the strike.

"The ruling party workers will go by the promises made
to the High Court," party MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra, who
presided over a meeting of BJD leaders ahead of the strike,
said.

"The schools will remain open tomorrow," School and
Mass Education Secretary Aparajita Sarangi told reporters.

BJP, which had also given the country-wide bandh call
tomorrow, would towards making it successful, party`s state
unit President Jual Oram said.

Though BJD targeted central government offices, the
BJP made no difference between the two. "We will want
everybody becoming part of the strike as everyone is hit by
the fuel price hike," party spokesman Ashok Sahu said.

PTI