Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 18:51:02

BJD on Fire Naveen Perplexed

Updated: April 30, 2017 10:43 am

Biju Janata Dal ( BJD) is on fire again. Exchange of brash statements by its leaders has engendered  a shattering situation in the party, which is causing headache for the Chief Minister   Naveen  Patnaik. The catastrophic situation cropped up in the ruling party on March 28 when Member of Parliament and one of the stalwarts of the party  Baijyant Jay Panda,  scribed an article in The Samaj, a premier Odiya daily newspaper, which was followed by a good number of Twitter posts regarding malfunctioning of the party. Shri Panda, in his article, attempted to put a caveat for BJD functionaries  regarding their conduct and advised them “to introspect” concerning their contributory roles in the party’s disaster in the last three -tiered Panchayat polls. Most of the heavyweights of the party consider Panda’s statement a virtual challenge to the BJD leadership and critics say that by taking such a calculated risk, Jay Panda is paving his way towards BJP. However, Shri Panda writes on  Twitter that some vested interest persons in BJD are misrepresenting his views and creating a confusion thereon. He has also called on the party chief Naveen Patnaik to take a strong and effective action for reviving the strength of BJD by identifying  those who are the real challenges in the party. He also opined that the small fledglings are controlling the party keeping the senior leaders out of the orbit.

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Jay Panda’s article and Twitter posts have shaped a political tumult inside BJD. Senior party leaders,  Tathagat Satpathy, Debasish Samantaray and Amar Prasad Satpathy, are opposed  to this view of  Shri Panda. Tathagat Satpathy came to vehemence for opposing Panda through  his Twitter  posts but one day after, both the leaders came to public sight while taking a selfi in New Delhi. Coincidentally, such political commotion blew up in the party just a week after the death of Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, the mentor and one of the  founders of BJD, who suffered expulsion from the party on allegation of sabotage with top leadership of the party, Naveen Patnaik.

Layout 1Naveen Patnaik has not expressed his opinion  on  the views  expressed by Shri Panda in his article.  It is not unusual  on the part of the  Chief Minister  to remain mum  on this issue, as he  purposefully does  in  each and every  time  when  any  traumatic  situation  arises.  However,  the crack  inside the party  has come to light  not only through the statements of  Baijayanta Jay Panda but also  through the  comments of Dr. Damodar Rout on  Shri Panda’s article.  Dr. Rout, who is known for his wit  on  political matters of the party,   supported  the  views of Shri Panda  and virtually  concurred with him  that  there is difference  in the party. Political analysts  say that  such  an article, written by Shri Panda,  may not be acceptable to BJD  chief and   therefore  Tathagatha Satpathy  may  be given  the responsibility of  parliamentary party leader  of BJD.  In another incident, it  was seen that  Shri Panda  was the only  BJD M.P.  who visited  the house of Pyari Mohan Mohapatra   to attend his funeral. Except him, none of the party   MPs and MLAs did ever visit  to pay  last tribute  to   Mohapatra after his death. Even Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik did not attend  the funeral of the late Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, his mentor.

It is reported that a number of BJD members have joined  BJP during last two months. It shows the upsurge of BJP in the state.  Good performance in the last Panchayat polls is the cause of this upsurge, which has ignited the party workers. It is noticeable that the upcoming National Executive Meet of BJP in Bhubaneswar will boost the enthusiasm of party members in the state.  On the other hand, it seems that the members of BJD are roaming in utter confusion regarding the happenings in the party. While this intra-party turmoil is continuing, political quarters are waiting as to what the party chief Naveen Patnaik would do to save the image of the party as well as his own.

By Debasis Tripathy from bhubaneswar

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