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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 18: 

Days after Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal floor leader in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab revealed to ‘Sambad’ that he tossed the BJD-Congress alliance concept on directions of party chief Naveen Patnaik, the party today served a show cause notice on him.

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According to a notification issued by the party this evening, the notice has been served on the Cuttack MP seeking explanation for speaking to press without prior approval from the party.

“The party felt that he has been making statements to the press from time to time without prior approval from party president. Some of these statements have been made against the party lines. Party president Naveen Patnaik has sought an explanation from him on this context,” said BJD General Secretary Anant Narayan Jena this evening.

It may be mentioned here that speaking to Sambad, Mahtab had recently said that his statement on BJD- Congress alliance possibilities a few days before was “engineered”, and was done as asked by the Chief Minister to  gauge the people with BJD and the ones conspiring not to be with it.

Even after Naveen’s statement ruling out any possible alliance with Congress, he not only added that there are chances of formation of a third front during the next Presidential election, but also voiced discontent over the state of affairs in the party over the Mahanadi issue.

Earlier, Mahtab had earned the wrath of the party for suggesting Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FS &CW) Minister Sanjay Das Burma should tender resignation on the face of allegations that he has links with tainted chit fund company AT group.

Fed up with embarrassment caused by the party ranks for their irresponsible remarks, Naveen on August 27, 2014 had announced a list of 10 spokespersons that included Amar Prasad Satpathy, Pratap Deb, Rabi Narayan Nanda, Shashi Bhusan Behera, Pratap Jena, Sameer Samir Ranjan Dash, Raseswari Panigrahi, Dibya Sankar Mishra, Dambaru Sisa and Sasmit Patra.

The party had then said that it only allowed its spokespersons to interact with the media and present party’s official stand on various issues apart from participating in panel discussions on television channels and barred other leaders from making unauthorised statements.

Later on August 11, 2016 Surya Narayan Patro and Prasanta Nanda were inducted as senior spokespersons of the party.

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