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Throwing eggs a mode of protest not a crime: Odisha Congress leader

Senior Congress leader and Odisha CLP leader Narasingha Mishra. File photo   | Photo Credit: LINGARAJ PANDA

As throwing of eggs by political parties at political opponents appear to have become a popular form of protest in Odisha, senior Congress leader and CLP leader Narasingha Mishra on Saturday, November 27,2021, defended it calling it a mode of protest like the more common black flag demonstrations and setting up of road blockades.

Mr. Mishra’s defence came after two of Congress workers were picked up by the police on the charge of throwing eggs at the convoy of Odisha Commerce and Transport Minister, Padmanabha Behera at Narayantikra area in Bolangir district.

“Every citizen has a right to protest. Every party too has a right to protest. The ruling party holds protests on various issues. Opposition parties also have a right to protest. Staging the protest, may be by throwing eggs, is a fundamental right,” Mr. Mishra said.

Continuing to speak for the act, he said attacks with eggs do not hurt or harm anyone. "There are various ways to protest - like showing black flags and setting up road blockades. What is wrong with protesting with eggs?" Mishra continued "Ministers move around with hooligans who beat up protesters, but no case is lodged against them. But if protesters hurl eggs, they are charged under Section 307 (attempt to murder). Can you kill anyone with eggs?” His comments were, however, contrary to OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik’s remark. The OPCC president had said that throwing eggs at political opponents is an outcome of resentment but will not solve any problem.

This form of protest had become common in the state in 2018 ahead of the 2019 general election. It has returned to the state again since the opposition BJP and Congress began demanding the removal of Minister of State for Home D S Mishra from the council of ministers for his alleged links with the prime accused in the Kalahandi woman teacher’s kidnap and murder case.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik faced such protests during his visit to Puri on Wednesday when BJP activists chucked the popular food item targeting his convoy.

Two Odisha Ministers, N K Das and T K Behera faced similar protests on their way to attend government health cards distribution function in Koraput and Nabarangpur districts on Saturday.

BJP, which has often indulged in throwing eggs at political opponents, has faced its share of such a wrath.

Aparajita Sarangi, the saffron party MP, found eggs thrown at her by ruling BJD activists protesting against the skyrocketing price of cooking gas. They blamed the BJP-led government at the Centre for burdening the poor and middle class families who are finding it difficult to purchase LPG at high prices.

Ms. Sarangi, however, took it lightly. “They have every right to protest. As their MP, the people have drawn my attention to the rise in the price of LPG. I do not consider it as a protest, but a genuine problem,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:25:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/throwing-eggs-a-mode-of-protest-not-a-crime-odisha-congress-leader/article37732143.ece

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