Bhubaneswar, Nov 25 (PTI) The Crime branch of Odisha Police will probe the attack on former MP and president of Utkal Bharat party, Kharabela Swain in Rayagada district on Saturday, a top police officer said Sunday.

“A thorough investigation into the incident will be conducted by the Crime branch to ascertain the reason and motive behind the assault on the former MP,” Director General of Police (DGP) R P Sharma said.

Attacks on Swain in Kendrapara and Balasore districts recently are also likely to be brought under the purview of investigation to ascertain whether there was any conspiracy, the DGP said.

The president of Utkal Bharat party, met additional superintendent of police, Rayagada, Patitapabana Chaudhury Sunday and lodged a complaint.

He alleged that the ruling BJD was behind the attack when he was attending a street corner meeting at Kashpur on Saturday.

The alleged attacker, identified as Sumanta Nayak (35), was detained by the police on Saturday. Nayak has been arrested, the ASP said adding he is being interrogated and appropriate action would be taken as per law.

Swain, a former Lok Sabha member alleged that BJD workers are attacking him as he has been criticising the ruling party. “I feel BJD has resorted to ‘goondaism’ as it fears defeat in 2019 elections … the attacker himself described himself as a BJD man,” he claimed.

However, ruling Biju Janata Dal MP N Bhaskar Rao condemned the attack on Swain but denied the involvement of the BJD in the involvement.

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the BJD should not be blamed for the incident

The incident evoked sharp reactions from political parties with opposition Congress and BJP hitting out at the BJD and alleging that the attack was the handiwork of the ruling party.

“Strongly condemn the attack on former MP Shri Kharabela Swain. Violence has no place in a thriving democracy. Sadly BJD and its Naveen Gunda Vahini don’t understand it,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President, Niranjan Patnaik said on twitter.

BJP leader and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the attack on Swain is proof of deteriorating law and order situation in Odisha. “I strongly condemn such political intolerance. Being in-charge of the Home department, the Chief Minister should refrain from promoting such political intolerance,” he said in a statement.

Former MP Baijayant Panda also strongly condemned the attack on Swain.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.