CEC seeks report on shoe hurling at Naveen Patnaik

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New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Feb 21 (IANS) The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on Wednesday sought a report from the Odisha State Election Commissioner (SEC) on the incident of shoe hurling at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during a by-election campaign in Bargarh district on Tuesday.

A delegation of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), led by party MP Pinaki Mishra, met the CEC in New Delhi on Wednesday and apprised him of the shoe hurling incident.

“The CEC condemned the act and has sought a report from the State Election Commissioner. The CEC also directed to ensure smooth conduct of the by-poll,” said Mishra.

He said the CEC directed the Odisha Election Commissioner to take steps to avoid an occurrence of such incidents and ensure smooth conduct of the Bijepur by-poll.

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A youth had on Tuesday hurled two shoes at Naveen Patnaik when he was campaigning for the BJD candidate for the by-poll in the Bijepur assembly constituency at Kumbhari under Barpali block of Bargarh district.

However, the shoes did not hit the Chief Minister as one of his alert personal security officers blocked the shoes. Soon after, the BJD supremo was whisked away from the spot.

The youth, identified as Kartik Meher of Padmapur area, was later arrested.

Meanwhile, a BJD delegation led by Odisha’s Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty on Wednesday called on Odisha DGP R.P. Sharma in Bhubaneswar, requesting him to step up the security for Chief Minister Patnaik.

“The shoe-hurling incident was really very unfortunate and condemnable. There should not be any recurrence of such incidents. We have appealed to the DGP to take strict action against these kind of incidents,” said Mohanty.

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–IANS

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