Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 30:
Amidst rift intensifying within Odisha’s ruling party with latest column written by BJD MP Bhartuhari Mahatab in an Odia daily, Party supremo Naveen Patnaik asked the leaders to discuss the issues with him instead of going to media.
“If senior leaders have anything negative to say, they should come to me with their complaints and not go to media”, Patnaik said on Mahatab’s second column.
Mahatab in his second column said that he has delivered his responsibilities assigned to him by party chief Naveen Patnaik.
Clarifying his first column published in his newspaper about crack in the party, Mahatab said that he had joined the Janata Dal after being sidelined in Congress in the year 1996. He was elected to Lok Sabha on BJD tickets and he had delivered his responsibilities well.
If the party supremo wants I will quit my responsibilities, he wrote in his second column titled “Dhwani Pratidhawni” in Prajatantra today.
Targeting BJD leaders Damodar Rout and Surjya Patro, he said that some leaders might not have taken the point raised by him in his previous column. They are trying to get the meaning in English.
Taking on Mahatab, BJD spokesperson Surjya Narayan Patro said, “We had suggested him to discuss the issue with party president Naveen Patnaik instead of expressing his views in media”.
“If our party workers are not working in the grass root level, how Mahatab won the elections five times? Nobody has voted him by his face, people have voted for Naveen Patnaik, he should remember it”, he said.
He also repeated Party Supremo’s version stating if Mahatab has something negative in his mind, can directly go to Naveen Patnaik.
Reacting to the editorial, he said, “As I don’t know Odia, whatever he has written in the newspaper you media people know it well”.
“But you go to the villages, you can know how the party is strong at the grass root level”, he told media.
“Cuttack MLA said that Mahatab has not performed his duties well as the PM in the recently concluded Zilla Parishad elections. Even he has not visited the constituency where he was given the highest number of votes. The party supremo has all the information about it. We have nothing to say what CM Patnaik will take action”, he said.
“As we are working at the ground level, Mahatab’s write up is creating trouble for us”, he said.
“It is personal opinion who will remain in the party or wish to quit it. As long as the party and Naveen Patnaik exist, the party leaders inspired by Biju Babu’s ideologies will work to win the 2019 elections”, Patro said.
Hitting out at the column, Cuttack (Barabati) legislator Debasish Samantaray asked, “How much Mahatab cooperated the party candidates during the recently held panchayat polls? Has he reviewed the poll results in Badamba Narasinghpur area where the party recorded the lowest number of votes?
“The MP, who never visits his own constituency, should never make such statement. Lakhs of voters and party workers have elected him to Lok Sabha. It is very sad if he could not make visit there and talking to media”
“I appeal to MP Mahatab to remain with the party leaders and he should make such statement in media”, he told media.
Earlier, Patro on his first column had asked Mahatab, how the party came to power five times if there was crack in the party.
Senior leader Dr Damodar Rout had also criticised Mahatab saying, “As he stays in Delhi, he could not know about BJD”.