Bhubaneswar, Mar 6: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today refrained from Holi celebrations even as leaders of different political parties joined the people across the state in the festival of colours.
Though a large number of people gathered in front of Naveen Niwas, the residence of the Chief Minister, Patnaik remained indoors and no one was allowed inside.
However, there was no official communication from the chief minister's office or the residence regarding the cause of Patnaik keeping away from the festival.
Patnaik greeted the people of Odisha through newspaper advertisements on the ocassion of the Holi. Keeping himself away from the festival, earned critiism for Patnaik.
Former minister and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said, "As the Chief Minister is afraid of facing the people, he refrained from Holi festival."
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan preferred to celebrate Holi with differently-abled children at a special school here.
"Let Jagannath shower happiness in the lives of all the people of Odisha," Harichandan said.
Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan celebrated Holi at BJP state headquarters with party workers and leaders while Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram organised Holi celebrations at his residence in the city.