Odisha Sun Times Bureau 
Bhubaneswar, Jun 5: 

War of words today intensified in Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal as party Vice President and Excise Minister Damodar Rout took yet another potshot at archrival Debashish Samantray and said “some leaders joined politics to make money”.

Damodar Rout Debashish Samantray

“There are many leaders including Debashish Samantray who have forgotten the ethics of politics. Aspiring to make more money is a basic instinct, but some of these leaders have made it the agenda. They are in politics for money,” said Rout.

“I see no reason to react to Cuttack MLA (Debashish Samantray) and make him important. I never do that. He, instead, is always after me and tries to hamper my poll prospects,” he added speaking about Debashish’s comments yesterday.

Rout’s statement, coming as it does a day after BJD’s loss in Odisha’s Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) bypoll, made ripples in party’s power circles and Choudwar-Cuttack MLA Pravat Biswal joined the fray in support of Debashish.

“He talks about amassing property. We have been selling our property after becoming MLAs. It is unfair to make such comments over the results of ward bypoll,” said Biswal.

“I guess, what he said is his personal opinion. The party only allows spokespersons to make official statements. Besides, he is known to make such statements and then take a u-turn. He is an MLA for Paradip. He should take care of his own constituency than interfere in the politics of Cuttack. His statement wouldn’t affect the party in anyway,” he added.

While Dama and Debashish sparred over the CMC bypoll loss yesterday, Debashish refused to make any clarifications to the former’s fresh accusations today and said “the party will decide”.

“He is jealous of me and it is unfortunate that such a senior leader makes such petty remarks against me at every possible opportunity. It hurts,” Debashsish had said yesterday.