Amid nationwide outrage over a tribal man carrying his wife’s body on shoulder for 10 km in Kalahandi, the opposition today sharpened attack on the Odisha government as Congress launched a ‘Padyatra’ and a BJP fact-finding team visited the district.
Slamming the BJD government for negligence in providing a hearse for transporting Dana Majhi’s wife Amang Dei’s body from the district headquarter hospital at Bhawanipatna to his village on Wednesday, Congress and BJP leaders made a beeline to the district and alleged collapse of health services.
Dubbing the Naveen Patnaik government as “anti-tribal”, Congress workers took out a ‘Padyatra’ from Melghar, Dana Majhi’s village, to Bhawanipatna.
The 60-km rally, led by senior leader and former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das, is scheduled to reach Bhawanipatna tomorrow after a non-stop march.
Congress activists have also planned to gherao the District Collector’s office tomorrow, party leaders said.
The rally was launched a day after a six-member fact-finding team of the party visited Majhi’s village. They met Majhi and his 12-year-old daughter, besides other villagers.
Terming the incident as “inhuman”, Das who hails from Kalahandi, said, “It has exposed the anti-tribal attitude of the BJD government.”
Not happy with the probe conducted into the incident, Congress leaders demanded a high-level inquiry into the whole episode and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for Majhi’s family.
An eight-member BJP fact-finding team headed by MLA Rabi Nayak visited also Melghara village and spoke to Majhi.
A detailed report will be prepared and submitted to the state BJP president, the party’s state vice president Sameer Mohanty said.
Hitting out at the state government, BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the incident has tarnished the image of Odisha.
Claiming that there was no coordination among the Chief Minister, the health minister and administration, he said while the Chief Minister and the health minister promised stringent action against the guilty, district officials seem to be trying to shield the culprits.
Terming various welfare schemes in the state as mere announcements to “mislead” people, Pradhan alleged though the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme to provide hearse to take bodies from government hospitals to deceased’s home had been announced, Majhi had to walk with his wife’s body on shoulder as he failed to get a vehicle.
Kalahandi MP Arka Keshari Deo also met Dana Majhi and said he would meet the President and the Prime Minister to seek special attention for the development of Kalahandi and Nuapada districts.