Bhubaneswar, Oct 18: BJP national vice-president Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda has kicked up a controversy after he compared Odisha with Pakistan in a tweet.
Panda’s tweet was in response to whisking of a senior journalist with news channel Odisha Television Ltd (OTV), run by the former MP’s wife Jagi Mangat Panda, by Odisha police.
In a tweet, Panda said, “Shameful how Maharashtra & Odisha police simply “pick up” & assault journalists & do custodial interrogation, without following the basic process of law, like in Pakistan. This is real fascism. Please speak up for Ramesh Rath of @otvnews & @pradip103 of @republic.”
The tweet immediately created furore and top BJD leaders condemned Baijayant.
BJD Rajya Sabha MP Amar Patnaik tweeted, “We all know the law. Freedom of expression comes with restrictions & certainly doesn’t cover fake news, tarnishing image of people & much less a tribal woman MP, in most reprehensible form, a fake sex video! All know consequences if this happened in Pakistan. Let’s not fool people!”
Jajpur BJD MLA and party organisation secretary Pranab Prakash Das said, “Nothing more shameful than comparing your own state with Pakistan. Colossal disrespect for the Odia culture and the people of Odisha. Hope better sense prevails and this of insult for the people of Kendrapara, the entire state stops here!”
Another BJD Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra said, “Quite unfortunate that Shri. Jay Panda @PandaJay feels Odisha has become Pakistan, the same state that sent him to both houses of the Parliament. The same people of Kendrapara who ensured it. The same Tulasi Khetra. This is an insult to every Odia and to the Odia culture as well.”