Bhubaneswar: A day after former Agriculture Minister Dr Damodar Rout was dismissed from ministry over his anti-Brahmin remarks, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief today removed the Paradip MLA from the post of Vice President.
“The President Biju Janata Dal, Shri Naveen Patnaik has been pleased to relieve Dr Damodar Rout from the post of Vice-President, Biju Janata Dal as well as from the post of Observer of Dhenkanal District with immediate effect,” party’s Vice President Usha Devi said in a release this evening.
Hardly three days after Rout’s casteist remark at a public rally, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dismissed him from the ministry last evening.
“Naveen Patnaik’s stand is clear. Yesterday, he had dismissed from the ministry in the capacity of Chief Minister. Today, he removed him from party posts as party chief. The action has followed after his irresponsible remarks against a community,” BJD leader Prashant Nanda told media.
Reacting to the development, the Biju loyalist who has been dropped from the ministry thrice in the past said “I was elected by the people to serve them and not to become a minister. I will continue to work for the people as an MLA.”
In addition to this, Rout had told media that he was dismissed as he did not adhere to the instructions to tender resignation.
The BJD veteran’s no- holds-barred statements to the media has ostensibly irked the party supremo; hence the action.
On the other hand, the state unit Bharatiya Janata Party dubbed the move to drop Rout from the ministry as Naveen Patnaik’s political stunt.
“BJD believes in caste and communal politics. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has dismissed Damodar Rout to mislead people with some other motive,” BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma had said earlier in the day.