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Shoes hurled at Odisha CM during Bijepur by-poll campaign, one detained

Barpali, February 20, 2018:  Shoes were hurled at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while he was addressing a public meeting as part of the ongoing election campaign for the February 24 by-poll for the Bijepur Assembly constituency on Tuesday.

The incident occurred while Patnaik was about to end his public address and preparing to leave the podium.

Two shoes were hurled at the Chief Minister in succession one to his left and the other to his right side. However, the personal security officer (CMO) prevented the shoes from hitting the CM.

Party supporters caught the alleged attacker, identified as Kartik Meher of Padmapur, and beat him up before the security personnel took him to their custody. The accused was sitting in the front row just a few feet away from the dais. He was detained by the police.

However, the accused youth denied having any political affiliation while police seized BJP flag from his pocket.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJD and opposition BJP indulged in mudslinging following the attack on the CM.

While BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Keshari Deb said the incident was condemnable in a democracy and termed it as a BJP-sponsored act, the opposition BJP hit back at the former saying the attacker was not a BJP worker.

The CM is on a two-day visit to by-poll bound Bijepur to seek votes for party candidate Rita Sahu.

Earlier on January 31, a woman identified as Rajeswari Kamila, a BJP worker, threw eggs at Patnaik during the Talasari Beach Festival in Balasore district. However, Patnaik directed police to withdraw all charges, including the attempt to murder charge against the woman.

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