Tension in Balasore over unveiling of statue

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Balasore, Aug 31 (UNI) Tension prevailed in Balasore town today as two factions of the ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD) tried to score one over the other over the unveiling of a statue of late Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.

A life-size statue of Biju Patnaik was installed by Biju Smruti Committee at Fandi square.

While the committee members were waiting for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to unveil it, a group led by a woman leader Yasodhara Das unveiled and garlanded the statue today.

On getting the information, Smruti Committee Secretary Arun Swain rushed to the spot and chased the other group away.

Mr Swain also filed an FIR in this connection.

Prof Das, the daughter of veteran freedom fighter Rabindra Mohan Das who also claimed herself as a BJD activist, justified her action by stating that Biju Babu was a national personality and could not belong to any individual or a group.

Since the statue was under mask for several months, she chose to unveil it on the auspicious day '' local self government day'', according to her.

Mr Swain said, ''We were waiting since long for a date to get the statue unveiled by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.'' Dates earlier fixed for unveiling the statue were cancelled due to flood and other problems.

It was tentatively decided to unveil the statue in the last week of September. He described the action by Mrs Das as a ''dishonour'' to the great leader.

Meanwhile, police have deployed security personnel at the site to prevent any untoward incident.


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