Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 7:
Biju Janata Dal Barabati-Cuttack MLA Debashish Samantaray today sided with Jagatsinghpur BJD President Bishnu Das and took on Odisha Excise Minister Damodar Rout on the egg pelting incident that occurred during Rout’s public meeting on October 5.
Speaking to reporters, Debashish said that the egg pelting episode is a proof of Rout’s declining popularity. Besides, he further alleged that Damodar is hands in gloves with criminal elements.
“He used to treat Bapi Sarkhel like his adopted son and took him everywhere in Paradip. Even these days, notorious criminals like Bapi Parida and Raka circle around him,” said Debashish.
On his part, Rout went all guns blazing and made a personal attack on Debashish.
“Is there anyone as honest as him? His honesty is evident from the affairs of his family (his sister-in-law levelled harassment allegations against him). He is a bad apple in the famed Samantaray family,” said Rout.
It may be noted here that rivalry between Rout, Das and Samantaray is nothing new. Das and Samantaray have a track record of backing each other in their fight against Rout.
In January this year, Das had backed Samantaray and demanded disciplinary action against Rout following a war of words between Samantaray and Rout pertaining to the egg attack on BJD leaders.
In February, Dama courted controversy after calling Bishnu Das among other fellow BJD leaders “Ghosts”. Besides, he took on Debashish and levelled corruption allegations against him following BJD’s loss in CMC bypoll.
BJD Vice President Rout and three BJD MLAs from Cuttack — Debashish Samantaray, Pravat Biswal and Pratap Jena – on June 16 had to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and explain the episode.
Hours after the Wednesday’s egg pelting incident in Rout’s meeting, Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik had suspended Jagatsinghpur Vice President Ashwini Das late that evening. The party, however, offered no public explanations behind the suspension as yet.
In a statement issued yesterday, Bishnu said that he had not been consulted before the action and reiterated his support for Ashwini.