Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik turn "mouni babas" (silent monks) on issues of attacks on Dalits and tribals.
"Both Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik are like mouni babas. When there is attack on Dalits, the Prime Minister maintains silence," Ramesh told reporters in Bhubaneshwar.
Similarly, the Odisha Chief Minister was maintaining silence despite the killing of five civilians, including three tribals and two dalits, during a so-called encounter between the police and Maoists in Kandhamal district on 8 July, the former Union Minister claimed.
His remark came amid attack on Modi from different quarters for his silence over the issue of public thrashing of Dalits in a Gujarat village recently.
Coming down heavily on Patnaik over the Kandhamal tragedy, Ramesh said though tribals have fallen victim in four such incidents during last one year, the Chief Minister has not uttered a word.
"This shows how insensitive and unconcerned the Chief Minister is towards the tribal people," he said, adding the response clearly demonstrates the "anti-tribal" approach of Patnaik and his government.