Former Koraput MP and suspended BJD leader Jayaram Pangi’s BJP joining has raised eyebrows. The leader, who had been in the eye of the storm for his alleged involvement in the schoolteacher Itishree Pradhan murder case, has suddenly gained back his political fortunes.
BJP, the party which had long been accusing Pangi for his alleged involvement in Itishree Pradhan murder case, have suddenly started singing praises for him.
The 29-year-old contractual school teacher was set on fire on October 27, 2013 inside her room in the school hostel compound in Tikiri in Rayagada district by an unidentified man.
A local court convicted a school SI Netrananda Dandasena for his involvement in the crime though the CBI has yet to nab the unidentified man. When alive, Itishree on many occasions had alleged that police never took any action against Dandasena, who was sexually harassing her, despite her complaints in the police station because Pangi backed him. In her dying declaration in a Vishakapatnam hospital, she reiterated her allegation against Pangi, who has always denied he supported Dandasena.
Taking a complete U-turn, however, BJP leaders including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, glorified Pangi as an influential tribal leader of Koraput and how his joining would strengthen the party’s base in the district. So is the BJP or Pradhan now hinting that Pangi had no involvement in Itishree Pradhan murder case? Or, on a more serious notion, has Pangi been assured that if he joins the party he would be cleared of CBI radar?
The BJP has to answer these questions to the people of Odisha. For once, ‘Odisha wants to know.’