Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Paradip, Oct 5:
Hours after Biju Janata Dal Vice President and Odisha Excise Minister Damodar Rout held ‘Mahanadi Banchao Samavesh’ in Paradip, his archrival and Jagatsinghpur district BJD President Bishnu Das called the convention “illegitimate” and said that the event had not been sanctioned by the party.
“He neither took permission from the State President nor informed the district unit of the party. He doesn’t even attend party’s meetings at district level. I don’t understand why he is holding this meeting. The party goes in one way and he chooses the other,” said Das.
Going a step further and making the attack personal, he added that Rout is doing so to “defend his turf in a last-ditch attempt.”
Not a man to give up, Rout defended his action while ridiculing Das.
“This meeting was held to take BJP’s flawed policies to the people. We had been demonstrating over the Mahanadi issue, are doing it and will continue to do it. I am not interested in explaining people who are not interested to understand. I am not willing to comment on statements made by a person who doesn’t visit my constituency or even talks to me. I don’t know when he became the district president,” quipped Rout.
On the other hand, senior Spokesperson of Biju Janata Dal Surya Patro stood behind Damodar.
“The party has nothing to say if they have personal disputes among each other. However, so far as any demonstration pertaining to Mahanadi issue is concerned, we see no issues in it. Anyone can hold any kind of demonstration anywhere,” said Patro.
Interestingly, the event was also attended by BJD MP Nagendra Pradhan, MLA Pravat Tripathy who was suspended from BJD over chit fund scam, Congress turned BJD leader Umesh Swain — who according to political observers are not in the good books of party chief.
In an unexpected move that could be related to the power-play by the duo in the district, Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik suspended Jagatsinghpur Vice President Ashwini Das late this evening. The party, however, have offered no public explanations behind the suspension as yet.