Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Mar 16:
A four member delegation of Odisha BJP led by senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
While the stated purpose of the meeting was to seek Prime Minister’s assistance in acceleration of Puri Jagannath Temple Jagamohana restoration works, political analysts see the visit as a result of growing discontent in the party.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mohapatra said that they discussed the Puri Jagannath Temple Jagamohana restoration issue with the Prime Minister and requested for direct supervision of the progress by a special officer of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“We requested the Prime Minister to get the restoration works accelerated and the progress directly monitored by PMO. The Prime Minister has asked MoS of PMO Jitendra Singh to study the issue further. A meeting has also been scheduled between Singh and Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma this evening to take necessary action,” said Mohapatra who called on Modi along with former Odisha BJP President and Patnagarh MLA KV Singh Deo, Rourkela MLA Dillip Ray and former Bolangir MP Sangeeta Singh Deo.
While Mohapatra and team tried to pass off the visit on Jagamohana restorations grounds, political analysts back home insisted that the visit indicated growing discontent in the saffron party. Some further went on to allege that the leaders visited Delhi to lobby against Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
It may be mentioned here that in a 147-member house that has only 10 BJP MLAs, KV Singh Deo Dillip Ray — both MLAs, were missing from action today on the second day of budget session.
Besides, the visit also bears significance given KV’s March 12 statement declining to become the Leader of the BJP Legislature Party – even if the party offered him that position. Ray, KV and Nuapada MLA Duryodhan Majhi were also missing from the Legislature Party & office bearers’ meeting held at state BJP headquarters on March 13.
While KV is allegedly unhappy after demitting the presidential chair of Odisha BJP, Mohapatra and Ray are reportedly unhappy after being overlooked in the organisation.
Considered loyalists of Jual Oram camp, they had been conspicuously missing on January 13 when the core committee was supposed to be consulted to form consensus for the selection of state unit president.