Bhubaneswar: Just two days after suspending its Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda from the party’s primary membership for alleged anti-party activities, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today demanded that he should immediately resign as Lok Sabha member on ethical and moral grounds.
“Shri Panda has lost all his moral authority to continue as Member of Parliament from Kendrapara. Hence we demand that Shri Panda Vice Chairman, IMFA should immediately resign as Member of Parliament from Kendrapara on ethical and moral grounds,” said BJD Vice President Bed Prakash Agarwal addressing a presser at the party’s headquarters here today.
The BJD Vice President accused Panda of having concealed the fact, that he is a paid employee and working as Vice-Chairman in IMFA, in the affidavit dated 21st March 2014 filed as part of his nomination papers for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“Shri Panda has concealed the fact that he is working as an employee of IMFA and drawing crores of rupees as salary,” alleged Agarwal.
“What made Shri Panda conceal this fact?” he asked.
The BJD Vice President said that the party cadres feel of having been cheated by this unethical and immoral act of Panda.
“He has cheated and misled the party, party leadership and above all the people of Kendrapara Parliamentary constituency about his employment with IMFA—a company involved in ferro alloys, mining and power,” Agarwal alleged.
“We the peoples’ representatives and party cadres from Kendrapara who have worked day and night giving our sweat and tears for his elections in 2014, now feel cheated by the unethical and immoral act of Shri Panda,” he added.
The presser was attended by BJD MLAs from Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency giving a perception to the public that they were not with the beleaguered MP.
However, Panda who is on a visit to his constituency after his suspension from the BJD said: “ The allegations against me are baseless. There is no discrepancy in the affidavit. It is unfortunate that they don’t understand the meaning of office of profit. It doesn’t apply for posts held in private companies. It applies to posts held in government organizations.”
“The way they are maligning the firm is not proper. Many BJD MPs and MLAs have used the helicopter of the firm I am associated with, others too have used. In the past, Naveen Babu too has used the helicopter of this firm though he is not using it now. Biju Babu used to use helicopters and planes of this firm for his campaigning. Why are they after the organization which has given employment to 6,000 people? If they don’t like me they can tell whatever they like to me. Why against the firm?” Panda appealed.