Balasore: Residents of this town were shocked when posters surfaced Sunday proclaiming that the Union Minister and Balasore MP Pratap Chandra Sarangi had gone ‘missing’. The posters were found in various parts of this town.
Some posters with his picture read: “Help! Our MP is missing. Please help us find him.” Others claimed, “He has not been seen in Balasore for long. Please help us to find him.”
Sarangi incidentally is the Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
People initially were taken aback by the posters. They thought something had indeed happened to the minister. Some of them went to the extent of thinking that Sarangi has been kidnapped.
Later on however, the posters were found to be the handiwork of Sarangi’s political rivals. The minister has not been seen much in the district since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Also he was not visible when Cyclone Amphan struck the coastal district. So Sarangi’s political rivals thought it would be the right time to tarnish his image by bringing out such posters.
Sarangi took the incident in his stride without much fuss. “When my mother was alive, she used to look for me, even if she did not see me for a couple of days. It is indeed a good omen that people in Balasore district are missing me like she used to do,” the minister remarked wryly.
“I was in Delhi prior to lockdown announcement due to the Parliament session. It was not possible for me to return to Balasore due to the lockdown. However, it doesn’t mean that I have not helped out people. I have seen to it that government aid is provided to those affected by cyclone Amphan. My political rivals will not be able to make any political gains from such posters,” the minister added.