Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 2:
With only couple of days to go before the centenary celebrations of legendary Biju Patnaik commences across Odisha, the leaders of the political party that markets itself with his name continue to spar.
While BJD Vice President Damodar Rout plans to celebrate the centenary in Paradip along with many leaders from various other parties, BJD plans to have its own function in Bhubaneswar’s Baramunda.
To make matters worse, while BJD refuses to associate with Dama’s function and continues to name it a “private function”, Rout points fingers at the absence of leaders from other parties in BJD’s function and claims that he doesn’t have much knowledge about the Baramunda function.
“The party has to arrange its own function for Biju Babu. That is the official one. I can’t comment about the private functions others are organising. That is their headache,” said BJD Vice President Agrawal.
“Biju babu was a legend who was revered across party lines. I have arranged my function where the Governor, Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra, senior BJP leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, former Speaker Sarat Kar, CPI-M leader Shivaji Patnaik would attend. I have no idea what is happening in Baramunda function. I have nothing to say or do about it,” said Rout.
Coming as it does after Rout locked horns with Spokesperson Pratap Deb and his colleague – convenor of the Biju centenary committee Bed Prakash Agrawal, political analysts are seeing it as an open defiance by Dama to Naveen’s orders.
Curiously, Rout is a member of Biju Centenary Committee that Naveen formed to oversee the centenary celebrations. While Rout attended one of the meetings where he sparred with convenor Agrawal, he didn’t attend the next meeting.
It may be mentioned here that irrespective of all the sparring, Rout has been given a repeat term as Vice President of the party as per a press notification issued by BJD late this evening.