Vikash Sharma

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who has been in the eye of storm, was on Tuesday removed from the vice-president post of the party. An order in this regard was released by the BJD office today.

“Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Vice-President, BJD is hereby removed from the post of vice-president with immediate effect,” the BJD’s order read. However, the BJD has not mentioned the reason for removing Soumya Ranjan Patnaik from the post of vice-president.

It is pertinent to mention here that several BJD leaders had targeted Soumya Ranjan Patnaik after the latter criticised the Odisha government and 5T Secretary’s visits in his editorial. It is suspected that the BJD has resorted to pressure tactics by removing Patnaik from the party’s vice-president post.

Earlier, the BJD leader had made veiled attacks on the 5T Secretary and compared his tour expenses with the Chandrayaan 3 mission.

On September 9, Patnaik made an explosive statement that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thinks that all his Ministers are incapable for which he gets his work done by the 5T Secretary.

The Khanadapada MLA stated this while responding to Energy Minister Pratap Deb's swipe at him for continuously being critical of the 5T in his writings as well as earlier statements.

On Soumya’s removal from BJD’s vice-president post, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said, “The action is uncalled for. The BJD should have discussed the matter. CM has not said anything and no importance should be given to what other leaders of the party say. Earlier, show-cause notice used to be served, but I do not know what has happened here.”

Senior journalist and political expert Sandeep Sahu said, “I was expecting some action against Soumya Ranjan Patnaik for his statements in media and two editorials. I was expecting that he (Soumya) might be suspended from the party. But removing him from the post of the vice-president shows that the party has not lost trust in him completely.”

Sahu further said, “CM in the past had taken action on several leaders including Damodar Rout and Bijoy Mohapatra. I don’t see any fear but I see it as that BJD has given a lifeline to Soumya Ranjan Patnaik to mend ways.”

Reacting to the sacking of Patnaik from the VP post, BJD organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das said, "Gratitude is the greatest medium of prayer. Where there is no gratitude, even God does not come to rescue."

Senior Congress leader, Niranjan Patnaik said, “BJD is a private company and it is headed by CM Naveen Patnaik. However, it is their internal affair. In Congress, president and others are appointed after election. Soumya Patnaik had earlier stated that whatever he wrote or was saying was in interest of the party. It is up to the BJD leaders to decide on it.”

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