Bhubaneswar: In what could be termed as a result of growing intra-party differences, senior Lok Sabha MP and senior BJD leader Tathagata Satapathy on Wednesday made a veiled attack on chief minister Naveen Patnaik alleging widespread corruption in Water Resources department, the portfolio the party supremo has been holding for a long time.
In the editorial of an Odia newspaper, the one he owns, Satapathy wrote: “Even though the chief Minister himself is holding the Water Resources department with him, it appears headless. It is rumoured that even though the department’s secretaries were aware about the barrages being built on the upper basin of Mahanadi, they didn’t protest. Besides the officers forgot to focus on the interests of the state as they were busy in various irregularities and were focused on shelling out contracts”.
He continued: “Though thousands of cusecs of water flow through the river during rainy season and end up in the sea, the State government has failed to take any step to preserve the water since 1980 apart from building canals to keep contractors happy.”
The write-up coincided BJD’s Thursday protest on the Polavaram issue here seeking president’s intervention. While the ruling party is appeared to be a divided house over the issue, it tried to play it down apparently considering the ensuing panchayat polls.
“He wrote it in his editorial capacity,” BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera quipped.
But the irrepressible Excise minister Damodar Rout demanded that action should be taken on the parliamentarian.
“Immediate action should be taken based on the editorial of Tathagata Satpathy,” said Rout.
The Opposition BJP, meanwhile, not letting the opportunity to go waste, praised the Dhankanal MP for speaking his own mind.
“I am thankful to Tathagata Satpathy for this piece of article. This shows how inefficient the chief minister is,” said Odisha BJP General Secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan.
Tathagata however refused to clarify his stand over the controversy.