| Jual Oram |
Bhubaneswar, July 1: With the ruling BJD and BJP charting separate courses to observe the proposed nationwide hartal against fuel price hike on July 5, the stage is set for a possible confrontation between the estranged allies.
Unlike the BJD, the BJP will not spare the state establishments, including the secretariat and district collectorates. “For us it is a complete bandh. We will not let any vehicle to ply on the road that day,’’ said BJP’s state unit president Jual Oram.
The BJD and its allies — CPI, CPM, Forward Block, RJD, SP and JMM — have decided that they would stage dharna in front of all central government offices and public sector units (PSUs) across the state. “We will stage dharna peacefully,” said BJD spokesperson and general secretary Baishnab Parida. He said the party workers would “halt the passenger and express trains for 15 minutes at all the railway stations in the state. To avoid inconvenience caused to the public, BJD and its allies have decided not to halt the trains for a longer period of time, Parida added. But, he said, all goods trains would be stopped for two hours.
The party would, however, advise their rank and files not to stop the vehicular movements and also not to disrupt emergency services like fire and medical services.
There are indications that Naveen Patnaik and his ministerial colleagues would attend the office. “We will not prevent people from going to their offices. Our aim is to mobilise public opinion against hikes in fuel prices,’’ said Parida. However, Oram was quite assertive. “A bandh means a complete bandh. We will not let vehicles and trains to move in the State,’’ he said.
Considering that the BJP has a sizeable following in the capital and Cuttack, political sources do not rule out violence. Earlier, the BJP chalked out its strategy at a meeting attended by its former national president Rajnath Singh and senior state leaders.
BJD spokesperson said the party leaders, including their senior leader Pyari Mohan Mohaptra, would participate in the proposed hartal.