20 February, Baragarh
An unidentified youth on Tuesday hurled two shoes at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his campaign for the by-poll in Bijepur assembly constituency of Bargarh district.
The shoe-thrower has been detained at the local police station.
Patnaik was campaigning in Kumbhari under Barpali block when he was attacked. One of the personal security officers (PSOs) blocked the shoes targeted at the Chief Minister.
The person who hurled two shoes in quick succession was reportedly seated in the front row.
Soon after, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo was whisked away from the spot.
The BJD accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of orchestrating the attack.
“The person who hurled shoes is a BJP worker. This is the handiwork of opposition BJP, which is doing all this apprehending defeat in the by-poll,” said Bargarh BJD MLA Debesh Acharya.
However, the BJP refuted the allegation.
“I condemn the attack on the Chief Minister. This is not an act of the BJP. The youth is yet to be identified and the investigation into the matter is yet to be started. But the ruling party has started blaming us. It shows their desperation due to imminent defeat in the by-poll,” said state BJP president Basant Panda.