Bhubaneswar: Rumours are doing the rounds in the political circles over the absence of four senior BJD leaders in the Chasi Samavesh at Sohela in Bargarh district on Thursday.
Though the reason behind the absence of these four leaders were not immediately known, sources in the BJD said they might have been asked by their party supremo Naveen Patnaik to stay away from the Samavesh for their controversial statement on farmer suicide cases.
The four senior leaders—Agriculture minister Pradip Maharathy, Cooperation minister Damodar Rout, Revenue and Disaster Management minister Bijayshree Routray and former Woman and Child Development minister Pramila Mallick— were found conspicuously absent at the Samavesh.
Maharathy, who cancelled his programme at Puri in the morning and at Cuttack in the afternoon and remained inside his farm house at Pipili throughout the day, did not utter a single word when asked about his absence in the Samavesh.
Similarly, the Revenue minister did not come to his State Secretariat chamber. Though the OTV team met him at his residence, he refused to comment anything on his absence in the Samavesh.
However, the statement of Cooperation minister was somehow different.
“I had organised Chasi Samavesh in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts a couple of days back and another at Bhadrak district yesterday and I have come here today to meet the farmers on the occasion of Cooperation Week. I have not come here to attend a marriage feast. I have come specifically to meet the farmers. I have come here as Cooperation minister to attend the All India Cooperation Week”, Rout told the media persons here.
Apart from these three ministers, former Woman and Child Development minister Pramilla Mallick was absent in the Samavesh.
It may be recalled that the chief minister had given his piece of mind to Mallick for her irresponsible statement on farmer suicides a few days back where she had asked the Opposition to give Amar Ladoo (immortal sweets) to the farmers so that they will not die henceforth.