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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: A day after BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik sought an explanation from party MP from Cuttack Bhartruhari Mahtab for his recent statement on possible ties between BJD and Congress, vice president of the ruling party Damodar Rout on Saturday said if Patnaik asks any leader of the party to explain about his/her statement or activity, reply of the concerned leader irrespective of his/her position in the organisation should satisfy the party chief to let an issue to melt down.

Talking to newsmen, Rout, who is also Excise and Cooperative Minister, said, “Whether someone is BJD’s parliamentary party leader or general secretary or vice president or minister, if he/she makes statement or does anything against the interest of the party, Patnaik can seek explanation from him/her regarding his/her action. After the concerned leader submits a written reply, the party chief goes through the statements and decides on future steps accordingly.”

Rout further stated, “In case Patnaik realises the party leader has not done anything to harm the interests of the party, then there is no issue. Otherwise, action will be taken against the leader if the party chief finds any discrepancies in adherence to the party discipline.”

Notably, Mahtab, who is accused of issuing “harmful” statements to media without prior permission of the party president, was sought an explanation by Patnaik yesterday. BJD Secretary and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena had issued a release to media mentioning about Patnaik’s action.

On November 2, Mahtab, in a statement to a local news channel, had said, “As Congress has been weakened now, the party (BJD) should reconsider its policy of maintaining distance from that party.”

Also read: Media has misinterpreted my statement: Bhartruhari

He had also said since Congress is “not strong enough”, there is “no danger” in tying up with it to fight BJP.

“The Uttar Pradesh polls will determine BJD’s strategy. As Congress has looked after the general welfare of the people of Odisha, BJD can be a part of the grand alliance against BJP,” Mahtab had said.

Following the Mahtab’s statement on the possible alliance between BJD and Congress,  the chief minister had said, “There is no question of any kind of alliance with Congress as it has always neglected the people of Odisha.”

The developments took a new turn when a section of the local media quoting Mahtab, said the Cuttack MP spoke about the possible alliance with Congress as per the direction of the Chief Minister.

Mahtab, however, immediately claimed that he had never made such statements.

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