New Delhi: The BJD and BJP on Thursday launched joint attacks at the Central Government over the abduction of two Italian nationals in Odisha and demanded a statement from the Central government in the Lok Sabha.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, BJD leader B Mahtab accused Home Minister P Chidambaram of being reluctant in the entire episode.

Terming the abduction of foreign nationals a serious issue, senior BJP leader LK Advani said that the lack of communication between the Centre and the state government has made the issue more severe and is really unfortunate.

He demanded that either the Home Minister or the External Affairs Minister make a statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday when the House meets after a weekend break and explain the details of the incident involving Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo. He also said that the government must tell the House about the steps being taken by the Centre for the safe release of the duo.

Taking a dig at the Home Minister and External Affairs Minister over the visa policy, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said, “How can a foreign tourist stay in India for over 20 years in Odisha on visa. This proves the government’s lackadaisical approach in giving due attention to the serious issue.”

Mahtab further alleged that the response of Chidambaram was very casual when the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed him about the abductions of the two Italians.

He claimed that it took the Chief Minister's office several hours to establish contact with Chidambaram and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

He said since foreigners were involved in the case, the responsibility lied with the Central Government.

JPN/Bureau