Bhubaneswar/Berhampur (Orissa): Another
senior minister in Naveen Patnaik`s Cabinet has been accused
of delivering "inflammatory speech" at a public meeting in
Orissa`s Ganjam district.
A complaint had been lodged against revenue and
disaster management minister S N Patro at Jarada police
station in Ganjam district yesterday.
Patro allegedly asked the people of Patrapur block to
"ostracise people supporting Congress" for Centre`s negligence
towards rain-hit farmers in the state.
Patro`s call to people to ostracise Congress
supporters came after Orissa`s agriculture minister Damodar
Rout`s public utterance of the word "Harijan" referring to
Rout was yesterday granted bail by a court at Kujang
in Jagatsinghpur district after an FIR was registered against
him at a police station.
Patro`s call to the people would create tension in
public, alleged Ganjam district Congress Committee president
Bhagaban Gantayat after filing the police complaint against
The issue was also raised in the Assembly with leader
of opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress criticising
Patro for the statement.
By making such an inflammatory speech, Patro had
violated the oath he took as a cabinet minister, alleged Singh
demanding an unconditional apology.
Giving a clarification, Patro said he had not asked
people to ostracise Congress supporters. "I have said that the
Congress leaders who failed to secure assistance for the
state from the Centre should be ostracised," Patro told the
Meanwhile, Inspector in-charge (Jarada) Police Station
N R Mohanty said the police would inquire into the allegation
made by the local Congress leaders.