Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national vice-president Baijayant Jay Panda on Sunday landed himself in a controversy on the internet by allegedly comparing the law and order situation in Odisha with that of Pakistan.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) came down heavily on Panda for his remark.
“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,” tweeted Panda.
#FreedomOfSpeechShameful 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
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) October 17, 2020
Panda’s tweet came after senior journalist Ramesh Rath of Odisha Television Limited (OTV) was picked up by the police here on Thursday in connection with a viral fake sex video of a female BJD MP.
The leading vernacular news channel is run by Jagi Mangat Panda, wife of Jay Panda.
The tweet has triggered a controversy on the internet with the ruling BJD leaders mounting a scathing attack claiming that Panda has equated Odisha with Pakistan.
BJD’s Kendrapara MP Anubhav Mohanty, who had defeated Panda in 2019 General elections, slammed the BJP leader for his ‘illogical’ comparison.
“Let me remind you @PandaJay that before your defeat in 2019, you were a part of this soil which you are comparing with #Pakistan now. Mr.BP, Is #Kendrapara in #Pakistan ? If Yes then Quit #Odisha right now & forever,” tweeted Mohanty.
BJD’s Rajya Sabha member Sasmit Patra said this is an insult to every Odia and to the Odia culture as well.
“Quite unfortunate that 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,” tweeted Patra.
BJD MLA and party organisation secretary Pranab Prakash Das tweeted, “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!”
Following the controversy, the office of Jay Panda clarified that the ruling BJD is trying to push false propaganda.
“Jay Panda has not compared Odisha with Pakistan, rather he said that both Maharashtra and Odisha police are behaving like the police in Pakistan. BJD is trying to twist the meaning,” tweeted the office of Jay Panda.