Sit-ups row: BJP demands arrest of Patnagarh BJD MLA

Odisha Politics

Bhubaneswar: BJP on Friday demanded immediate arrest of Patnagarh BJD MLA Saroj Meher for forcing a Government employee to do sit-ups in full public glare.

Patnagarh Public Works Department (PWD) Junior Engineer (JE) Jaswant Sabar was forced to do sit-ups by MLA Meher at Gambhari village under Belpada tehsil on Wednesday for alleged poor quality road work.

Trouble mounted for the MLA after a video showing the MLA’s act went viral on social media on Thursday and also after his wife lodged an FIR against the MLA at the Patnagarh MLA. Meanwhile, police registered the FIR.

“The MLA behaved like goonda by taking law into his own hands. He should be arrested. What type of evidence police need when the MLA himself admits his mistake? Why have the police not arrested him yet,” said BJP leader Lekhashree Samantasinghar in a press conference at the State party headquarters.

She also questioned the stoic silence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the issue.

Meanwhile, the Bolangir Collector ordered an inquiry into the incident even as the first time MLA has tendered an apology for his act.

Notably, the video clip shows Meher pointing out the poor quality road work and asking the JE at least six times to “do 100 sit-ups.” After Sabar did some sit-ups and pleaded with the MLA to let him off with folded hands, the MLA is heard in the video clip as saying, “If you fail to do the sit-ups locals will beat you up. This is an MLA’s order.”

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