Mrunal Manmay Dash

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Bhartruhari Mahtab’s suggestion to Union Education and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has become the talk of the town.

Addressing a gathering at a programme held at the Ravenshaw Girls’ School in Cuttack on the occasion of the institution’s 150 years of establishment, Mahtab said, “In sports, there are people who use ‘foul’ technique to take advantage on the field. There are a lot of ‘foul’ people in life too. So Dharmendra Babu should not worry about those fouls.”

“You are a talented person. You know how to tackle the rivals and move ahead with the ball to score goals. You definitely have that skill. That is why PM Modi has entrusted you with the Skill Development department,” Mahtab said addressing to Pradhan who also was on the stage for the programme.

While his ‘foul’ remark to Pradhan has made the political corridors abuzz with speculations, he is known to indirectly attack the ruling BJD through his speeches and columns in newspapers.

As per the political experts, this remark suggests Mahtab’s increasing closeness with the BJP.

“What he (Mahtab) meant was, why Pradhan is not using his clout, which he has at the Centre, in Odisha. It seemed like a suggestion for the BJP to be aggressive in this election like in 2019,” said senior journalist, Prasanna Mohanty.

Mahtab did not stop with the suggestion. He went on to say that educational institutes and hospitals were named after British Generals and officials during the British rule to obtain permission. Just like Ravenshaw School and University which were named after T. E. Ravenshaw, the then Commissioner of Cuttack Division, there are some politicians now who want everything to be named after them or their families.

However, Mahtab did not clarify, who he was referring to with this comment.