Exemplifying the well known saying 'The essential ingredient of politics is timing', BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who for almost over half-a-decade trod on another saying "Strategy is choosing what not to do", has finally let his axe fall on the controversial BJD legislator from Chilka, Prashant Jagdev.
As the State Assembly is in session, and when the frames of Jagdev 's 'hooliganism' started doing the rounds, the BJD President very promptly suspended the Chilka MLA from the party with immediate effect. However, the one-line press release has very carefully skirted the reason behind the suspension.
Political observers are of the opinion that there is a clever move behind skirting the reason for Jagdev's suspension this time. Because the legislator from Chilka had been in news for such hooliganism since 2016.
Prashant Jagdev had hit the headlines for 'thrashing' and 'terrorising' since the year 2016. Consider the following instances.
- July 2016: Prashant Jagdev, (then BJD MLA from Bolgarh-Begunia) led BJD cadres to launch a brutal assault on BJP workers who were holding a black flag protest against Minister of State, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Sanjay Dasburma at Manamunda in Boudh district.
- November 2016: Lady tehsildar, Bolagrh, accused Jagdev of throwing a lantern and injuring her. She claimed then that incident took place when the lady officer was on duty and clearing land from the encroacher.
- January 2019: Former Begunia sarpanch lodged an FIR against the local MLA for 'threatening' in the presence of district officials.
- August 2020: A junior Engineer had registered a complaint with Chilika Development Authority (CDA) over misbehavior by the local MLA Jagdev over booking of ‘guest house’.
Prashant Jagdev - A Child Of Controversy?
As per the affidavit filed before Election Commission, the 2-time MLA has 10 criminal cases pending against him in the courts of law.
A glance at the affidavit shows that the charges slapped against the MLA range from
- Criminal intimidation,
- Criminal intent to outrage woman's modesty,
- Causing hurt to deter the public servant from doing his duty,
- Voluntarily causing grievous hurt,
- Mischief by fire or explosives with an intent to destroy house to
- Criminal breach of trust
Recently, when former Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi, once a powerful BJD leader in Ganjam, was expelled from the party following the charges of massive corruption, the party press release had then cited the reason as "Anti-people Activities". And BJD then went to the town calling it a first in the country's political history.
But this time, the reason has not been outlined. Moreover, here the Chilka MLA has been only suspended. As politics is all about timing, all eyes now are on the next move of the BJD.