Senior BJD leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has created a stir in the power corridors of the State again by making a veiled attack on the hegemony of a bureaucrat and a BJD MLA who, he said, are de facto ruling the State by acting as the two eyes of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Mincing no words while making the rumblings within the party louder, the BJD MLA said “Administrators and politicians are like the two eyes of a ruler. And in case of CM Naveen, they are Bobby (MLA Pranab Prakash Das) and bureaucrat Karthikeyan Pandian.
On the running of the BJD government, Soumya, while addressing a function in Cuttack, said the Chief Minister can only see what they (Pandian and Bobby) want. “In the event these eyes look through the lens of their personal motives like calling a crow white, and the supremo also follows suit, we are doomed,” said the legislator from Khandapada.
“It is because, however loyal these two eyes may be, there is no guarantee they would continue to remain so. That is why a clever leader (like Naveen) also needs to have a third eye,” he said, obliquely hinting at the media.
However, the BJD is yet to react over Soumya Patnaik's comments.
Earlier last month, Soumya who is now acting as the vice-president of the ruling-BJD, raised the political temperature in the State by raising serious questions over the number of COVID-19 related deaths in the State.
Launching a scathing attack on the government, Patnaik, in an editorial piece, had said that the data regarding the Covid mortality in the State had been fudged and concealed.
Patnaik blamed administrative failure and negligence behind the controversy over the Covid deaths and insisted that had the actual number of fatalities been revealed, there would not have been much loss of face.
Meanwhile, Soumya's statements today have set the political pot simmering in the State. Political observer Prasanna Mohanty said that in doing so, the ruling MLA is trying to reopen old wounds by directly saying that CM Naveen is completely dependent on others to administer the State.
Likening the ‘third eye’ narrative to media, Prasanna said third eyes have been seen changing sides for their own benefits more often than not. In the process, they are becoming lap dogs instead of watchdogs which is not good.
The BJD leader himself also owns what he calls 'the third eye'. “So, he (Soumya) should introspect what was his stance prior to the elections and what are his priorities now,” said Mohanty.