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Pradeep Pattanayak

The BJD legislator from Khandapada and Editor of leading Odia daily, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who was in news for his sharp editorials on the state of affairs in the BJD and Mamita murder case, today toed the BJD official line that people are the ultimate decider in a democracy.

"People are the best judges. If the Opposition's charge is genuine and the people also have a similar opinion that would get reflected in the coming panchayat elections. They (Opposition parties) have to wait till the panchayat elections," said Patnaik. 

Speaking to journalists on the Congress resolve to not allow the Minister of State for Home Dibyashankar Mishra into the Odisha Legislative Assembly, Patnaik decried it and said the Assembly premises are not anyone’s personal property. Legislatures are voted to power by common people and none can stop them from entering the assembly, he added.  

Terming the stand of Congress as bordering on hooliganism, Patnaik said they have the right to demand for the removal of Minister Mishra. That is fine. None will oppose that.

However, BJP senses the changed tune of Patnaik supporting the BJD official line that people are the real judges, a handiwork of 'Third Floor'. The saffron party’s chief whip in Odisha Assembly Mohan Charan Majhi said, “Earlier Patnaik used to speak his mind on the vexatious issues in his editorials ‘Ama Ghara Halchal’. Now it seems he is being managed by the third floor. He himself does not know what he is saying.”  

Earlier this month, the Odisha Congress party has threatened not to allow the Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra to enter the Odisha Assembly during the winter session, beginning from December 1.

Political observers read the changed tune of Soumya Patnaik in tandem with the start of the winter session of Odisha Assembly from December 1.

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