Bhubaneswar/Jharsuguda: The irrepressible Dama Rout has done it yet again: swimming against the current and going against the party line. The Paradip strongman today trained his guns on former minister and party spokesperson Surya Narayan Patro, his favourite target, for leading the Kalas Jatra launched by the BJD to protest against a series of constructions on the upstream of Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh, which entered its second day in Jharsuguda today.
Hitting out at the newly appointed spokesperson and his fellow party vice president, the Excise minister taunted the former for carrying an earthen pot on head like women.
“Surya Patro has just become our spokesperson. So, he is doing more. Usually, women carry the kalas (earthen pot). Why did he, being a male, carry a pot on his head? The kalas is put during marriage and temple pratistha ceremony. I do not know whether Mahanadi would fill if they pour pot-filled water,” Rout said in a remark that is bound to be interpreted as sexist, besides being against the ‘official’ party line.
Patro, however, refused to take the bait and hit back. He just shouldered arms to this outswinger from Rout saying; “He is a vice-president of the party like me. I don’t want to comment on what he said in his personal capacity.”
But the former Revenue minister did remind his erstwhile ministerial colleague of the fact that it was an official party programme. “I am doing what I am doing as per the direction of the BJD chief. The Party supremo decides which vice president would do what. I am doing what has been asked of me,” the new spokesperson said.
The Kalas Jatra of Biju Mahila Janata Dal, the women’s wing of the ruling party, entered the second day today.
Hundreds of BJD women took out a procession on the streets of Jharsuguda town . The activists broke the water filled earthen pots in front of the photograph of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh. Later, the leaders convened a meeting near the local bus stand and came down heavily on the Chhatisgarh government.
The party alleged that the Chhattisgarh Government has planned a series of large projects on the Mahanadi without any approval of the Odisha Government.
“This movement is to save Odisha from Chhatisgarh’s monopolistic act which would bring drought to Odisha and affect power generation in the State,” BJD’s women’s wing chief Pramilla Mallick said.