Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 10:
IOCL Paradip refinery dedication ceremony controversy today took a new turn as BJD Vice President and State Excise Minister Damodar Rout today put his party in dock over the alleged incidents of hooliganism by BJD leaders.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had given me the responsibility of doing the necessary for the Paradip refinery dedication ceremony. I had done as my leader expected me to. I have no idea why they (Debashish Samantaray, Pranab Prakash Das, Bishnu Das, Pravat Biswal and Pramod Mallick) even came here,” said Damodar speaking to reporters today.
“I cannot confirm if the Chief Minister had asked them to do anything specific, but they never discussed anything with me. This is one of the reasons behind all the mess. I am going to take up this matter with the Chief Minister,” he added.
BJD Jagatsinghpur President Bishnu Das, on the other hand, wanted to wash his hands off the Paradip controversy.
‘Those who have done anything wrong are directly responsible for their action. The Chief Minister would certainly look into it and if he finds involvement of BJD leaders in incidents of hooliganism, he certainly would take action,” said Das.
Political analysts, however, are seeing another side to Rout’s statement today as it comes on a day when his arch-nemesis Bishnu Das was given a repeat term to serve as Jagatsinghpur BJD President. Rout has a long record of making controversial statements and putting his own party in trouble when his suggestions are not received well by the party.
Notably, Odisha BJP’s Tirtol MLA candidate in 2014 elections Ramakanta Bhoi had yesterday filed an FIR against BJD Barabati MLA Debashish Samantaray in Tirtol police station alleging that Samantaray attempted to break the barricade during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour of Paradip last Sunday.