No question of disrespecting National Flag: Naveen Patnaik

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 18:44

Bhubaneswar: Facing flak from opposition
parties for allegedly insulting the National Tricolor, Orissa
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said he had not shown any
`disrespect` to it.

"As far as I am concerned there is absolutely no question
of showing any disrespect to our National Flag," he told
reporters at the sidelines of a function here.

The ruling BJD has claimed that the flag in question was
not a national flag as it bore no Ashok Chakra.
Patnaik`s reaction came a day after the police here
received three separate complaints alleging that the chief
minister and his party the BJD had insulted the tricolor at
the function held to celebrate the party`s 14th birth
anniversary here on Sunday.

``We are probing the allegation made by the three
persons. First of all police are ascertaining whether the flag
in question was a national flag as has been alleged," said
Capital police station inspector-in-charge Rabi Satpathy.

Prima-facie is required to register a case in the matter,
he added.

However, local MP Prasanna Patsani had told the gathering
at the BJD meeting that the flag was used to cover the body of
former chief minister and Patnaik`s father Biju Patnaik before
he was cremated at Swargadwar in Puri with full state honours.

Patsani had also thanked Janakar Sahu, who had presented
the flag to the chief minister at the meeting. The flag bore
BJD`s poll symbol conch at a corner with the Ashok Chakra
erased.

Sahu had later corroborated Patsani`s statement on the
flag and said he had presented it to Patnaik little knowing
that his act of writing name of BJD in the flag amounted to
insulting the National Flag.
"It is certainly a National Flag and the man (Sahu) had
written BJD`s name in ink on it. He did it unwittingly," local
MLA Bhagirathi Badjena, who had felicitated the man at the
programme, said.

Opposition parties have condemned the incident and
demanded apology from the chief minister.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 18:44

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