BJP protests price rise

Thousands of BJP supporters on Tuesday courted arrested all over Odisha as a mark of protest against rise in petrol price, corruption in governance and the Centre’s inability to tap black money stacked in foreign banks.

The BJP had planned the agitation on June 22 all over the country. But the party’s state unit pre-scheduled it because of the car festival on June 21. State BJP president Jual Oram said they got the green signal for the agitation from the party’s national leadership.

Though Oram claimed “BJP’s call to the people to join the agitation on such pressing issues evoked good response” all over the state, party sources said the programmed lacked the sheen at many places and held the state leadership responsible for the poor show. “We are a major party in the state and have been in the government for two terms since 2000. Yet, we are not able to create the desired confidence for us in the minds of people,” said a senior BJP leader.

Oram, who is reportedly facing opposition within his own party for failing to give proper direction and dynamism to the cadres, however, denied the charges. “The response was quite good. I am confident the people will register their cumulative anger against the BJD government in the state and Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in the future elections,” the BJP president pointed out.

Reports reaching here said beside Bhubaneswar, BJP workers in large numbers took out rallies and held demonstrations in Sambalpur, Berhampur, Angul, Dhenkanal and other places. The district authorities had tightened security to ward off possible law and order problems. “The protests were peaceful all over the state,” a home department official said.

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