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IIM B’pur demand: Ministers, MLAs gheraoed
By Input from Agencies  Published on: 15-Nov-2014 12:21:00
Place: Chhatrapur
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Chhatrapur: Public protest against the ruling BJD for its “anti-Ganjam stand” statements for establishment of IIM at Brahmapur has been intensified further.

IIM B’pur demand: Ministers, MLAs gheraoed

Members of the Forum for IIM at Brahmapur and hundreds of others including intellectuals, senior citizens, students and businessmen  gheraoed three Ministers, including two of Ganjam district, the MLAs of the district and the representative of the Chief Minister in front of the DRDA Office at the district headquarters town of Chhatrapur on Wednesday condemning their silence and the “step-motherly attitude” of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik towards Brahmapur in the matter of recommending the city for the State’s proposed IIM.

They criticised the State Government’s divisive politics by indirectly instigating the people of different regions to fight for the same IIM cause. Had the Government made its stand clear from the beginning and acted swiftly by recommending Brahmapur as the suitable place for IIM, such public unrest and protests found in different regions of the State would not have taken place, said a senior citizen.

The Ministers and MLAs who became the victims of protest included Ministers Pradip Kumar Amat, Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy, Bikram Keshari Arukh, MLAs Dr RC Chyau Pattnaik, Debaraj Mohanty, Srikanta Sahu and Dr Priyansu Pradhan, Chief Minister’s representative Bhaskar Panda and Zila Parishad president Surath Chandra Pradhan.

The agitators asked the Ministers and MLAs to resign immediately to demonstrate their unity with the public so as to mount pressure on the State Government for selecting Brahmapur as the location of IIM. When Polasara MLA Srikanta Sahu remarked “Have I become MLA only to resign for the cause of IIM at Brahma”, the agitators took the comment seriously and the situation became tense.

The public also expressed their serious concern about the argument of Higher Education Minister Panigrahy when he argued with the Forum members that it is good that the Centre has given an IIM for Odisha and in regard to its location Brahmapur is not the only stakeholder as there are many other places for consideration according to conformity with the Central guidelines.

The situation became quite ugly for some time on the main road of Chhatrapur when there were arguments and counter-arguments. The Ministers and MLAs had come to Chhatrapur to attend a meeting of the District Planning Committee.

When the Ministers and MLAs assured the public that they would meet the Chief Minister to appraise the issue collectively in favour of Brahmapur, they were allowed to attend the meeting.

Brahmapur MLA Chyau Pattnaik sought to fool the public by saying IIM should be established at Brahmapur along with other places also, knowing well that this is inconceivable, said a forum member.

Meanwhile, the Forum for IIM has given a call to the public for a Brhmapur Bandh on November 15 in support of their demand.  This was decided by the forum at an emergency meeting presided over by Prof Pramod Kumar Sahu. If the Government still remains callous, the forum would call a Ganjam Bandh, it was decded.

Senior BJP leader Rama Chandra Panda has urged the Chief Minister not to enter into divisive politics but to make the Government’s stand clear in such an issue of public interest.

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