Bhubaneswar: The main opposition parties — the BJP and the Congress — staged protest on Wednesday demanding removal of School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash from the Cabinet over the death of BJD zilla parishad (ZP) member Dharmendra Sahoo.
Sahoo, a zilla parishad member from Puri district, allegedly commited suicide at his residence here on September 24. The 48-year-old politician represented the ZP zone No. 11 under Gop, which falls under the Assembly constituency of Dash.
Odisha BJP workers and leaders, including Puri district president Ashrit Pattanayak, Bramhagiri MLA Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra and party’s state vice-president Pravati Parida on Wednesday blocked the Puri-Bhubaneswar national highway at Pattnaikia Chhak in Pipili over the issue. They demanded immediate removal of the minister for his alleged involvement in Sahoo’s suicide.
Notably, an audio clip purportedly made by Sahoo holding the minister and six others, including his wife and father-in-law, responsible for his death went viral on social media.
Similarly, hundreds of activists of the student wing of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee on Wednesday gathered the official residence of Dash.
Carrying posters and raising slogans, the Chattra Congress workers had a scuffle with the police while trying to barge into the minister’s residence. The Congress activists even hurled eggs and tomatoes at the house.
Earlier, a delegation of Odisha Congress had submitted a memorandum to the Bhubaneswar DCP demanding an impartial inquiry into the incident.