Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda was accorded a grand felicitation by non-resident Odias (Prabasi Odias) in New Delhi today.
The parliamentarian offered prayers at the Jagannath Temple in Hauz Khas where he received a warm welcome from the Prabasi Odias residing in New Delhi.
“The parliamentarian has always stood with us in our joy and sorrow and has fulfilled his promises. Not only natives of Kendrapara but he has stood with people from all over Odisha. Therefore, we protest the decision of the BJD Supremo and will always stand in support of Baijayant Panda to carry forward Biju Patnaik’s dream and vision,” said a Prabasi Odia, Bibhu Prasad Sahu.
After being felicitated by the Prabasi Odias, Panda said, “A darshan of Lord Jagannath is remedy for all my wounds and the support of the Odia brothers is also a healing touch. They were able to recognise the injustice meted out to me and extended their support,” said Panda.
In response to a query that why he was silent when late Pyarimohan Mohapatra had raised the issue of ‘babudom’ interference in BJD, he said, “I was never silent but have raised the issue many times in the party. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had publicly said about introspection last year after which I started speaking publicly about the issues that need to be addressed. The implementation of welfare schemes was carried out by me quietly, but I was issued threats through media. I should have remained silent but as Biju Babu is my idol I did not step back. Biju Babu would have welcomed my proposal if he were alive today.”
When being asked about the press meet organized by the BJD demanding his resignation from Lok Sabha alleging that he has submitted a false affidavit during the 2014 general elections, the parliamentarian said, “I have already made it clear that the allegations against me are baseless. Didn’t they know about my family and the organization I am associated with since last 20 years? All allegations are false; there is nothing wrong in the affidavit. If there is any issue they should approach the court or the Election Commission.”
Earlier on Saturday, the Prabasi Odias in New Delhi had organized a ‘padyatra’ protesting the suspension of Panda from the primary membership of BJD. The protesters alleged that a conspiracy is being hatched against the parliamentarian and ‘babudom’ interference is on the rise in Odisha.