Bhubaneswar, June 24 (IANS) BJP leader and central minister Santosh Gangwar’s vehicle was allegedly damaged on Friday by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers in Bargarh district of Odisha.
Gangwar, who is Union Minister of State for Textiles, was on his way to attend the ‘Vikas Ustav’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bargarh district when his vehicle was attacked in the presence of police.
The workers of BJD, which rules the state, protested against the visits of Gangwar and Union Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti to Bargarh.
They showed black flags to the two ministers at several places in the district town.
The attack triggered a war of words between the BJP and the BJD.
“The way the members of BJD behaved with me is unfortunate. (Chief Minister) Naveen Patnaik should look into the matter,” said Gangwar.
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said, “In a state where Union ministers are not safe, one can visualise the fate of common people.”
The state BJP attacked the ruling party and the state government for “allowing goons to damage the car of the central minister”.
BJP leader Bhrugu Baxipatra alleged that hostility to Gangwar has been shown at the behest of Naveen Patnaik.
He said the BJP will protest against the BJD ministers and Patnaik in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Bargarh police detained about 80 people, including BJD MLA Debesh Acharya, and arrested five for showing black flags to the minister’s vehicle and attacking it.
Acharya denied that he and other BJD workers attacked the vehicle.
“Nobody has attacked the minister’s vehicle. We are protesting in a democratic way,” he told reporters.