Bhubaneswar: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday claimed the attack on the convoy of two Union ministers in Odisha's Bargarh on Friday was a "panic reaction" of the ruling BJD.
"General election in Odisha is scheduled to be held only in 2019. But, from now itself the earth beneath their (BJD leaders') feet have started slipping. (Abhi se unke paon ke nichhe ki zameen khisak rahi hai)," he 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.
He said the incident was a "panic reaction" of the ruling party as the BJP has emerged as a force to reckon with in the state.
Dubbing the attack as a "planned action", Parrikar challenged the attackers to face him.
"It (attack on ministers convoy) was a planned action. I condemn it. Kisiko takat hei to mere samne ane do (If anyone has guts, let him come in front of me)," he told reporters here.
Stating that the people of Odisha are peace loving and therefore no one needs security here, 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."
Parrikar was on a visit to Odisha to attend a 'Vikash Ustav' of BJP at Cuttack, barely two days after the ruling BJD activists attacked the cavalcade of two union ministers and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda.
"It is a very unfortunate incident which took place in Bargarh where a group of people attacked and damaged the vehicle of Union Textiles minister Santosh Gangwar. I have never seen such an incident anywhere in the country," Union Drinking Water and Sanitation minister Ram Kripal Yadav, who also came here today, told reporters.
Yadav, who hails from Bihar, said though political differences in his state are high, there is no 'goondaism' among the parties.
"But the incident which took place in Bargarh is open hooliganism. Union Home minister has expressed grave concern over the incident. All I can say is that politics of this kind can be possible only in Odisha, not elsewhere in the country. I strongly condemn this incident," he added.
Yadav said he is a common man and if attacked, the people of Odisha will decide.
Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the ruling party (BJD) friends have adopted an undemocratic method of protest.
"The people of Odisha always believe in democratic process. Use of slippers, sticks, stones and filthy language are utterly undemocratic methods and those who practise these methods have an autocratic mentality. May God give them the wisdom," he said.