Bhubaneswar: Lashing out at the Odisha
government for its "silence" over the twin abductions,
Opposition MLAs on Friday alleged that Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik was indifferent towards kidnapping of a tribal law
maker and also an Italian national.
The hostage issue was raised during zero hour when
members cutting across party lines expressed concern over the
incident and demanded steps for early release of Laxmipur MLA
Jhina Hikaka, who has been in the captivity of Maoists since
"The state government has not taken any step to ensure
release of the tribal MLA. Had it been the case of a general
caste MLA, the government would have acted promptly," said
senior Congress member and former minister Dambaru Ullaka,
adding tribals were treated as "sacrificial lambs" by the BJD
Alleging that the tribals were worst sufferers under the
BJD`s regime, Ullaka said, "This government has no concern for
the tribals and also MLAs from this community."
Noting that the same BJD government was prompt in taking
action to release the then Malkangiri District Collector R
Vineel Krishna from the clutches of Maoists last year,
Congress MLA Bhujabal Majhi alleged that the chief minister
had left the fate of Hikaka and Italian national Paolo Basusco
in the hands of god.
"The state government`s way of handling the hostage
crisis is not yielding any result. The chief minister is not
taking either the opposition into confidence or convening all
party meeting to resolve the issue," Congress Chief Whip
Prasad Harichandan said.
Dubbing the state government as "insensitive" towards the
crisis, Harichandan warned that it would be responsible
for any harm to Hikaka and Paolo. "The government is not
involving politicians and police in the process of holding
negotiation with the abductors," he said.
BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo too slammed the
government for allegedly keeping the assembly in dark over
"The House needs to be informed about the condition of
hostages. The state government must clarify its stand on the
demands made by the Maoist holding Hikaka and Basusco," he