Bhubaneswar: In a new twist to the ongoing wrangle in the run up to the Bijepur bypoll, former MLA from the constituency Ashok Kumar Panigrahi today brought a flurry of allegations against his former party BJD.
Speaking to OTV, the former legislator said senior BJD leader, late Kalpataru Das had advised him to contest from Bijepur as an independent candidate during the 2014 Assembly Elections even though the party had fielded Prasanna Acharya from the constituency.
"I told him that filing paper against the party's candidate would be seen as an anti-party act, but Kalpataru told me that it was the party chief's (Naveen Patnaik) order and I should contest as an independent candidate. However, soon after, I was expelled from the party for anti-party activities," alleged Panigrahi, adding that had Kalpataru been alive, everything would have been exposed.
It is worth mentioning that CM Naveen expelled Panigrahi, who had won the Bijepur Assembly segment in 2000 polls on a BJD ticket, for anti-party activities as he contested as an independent candidate after being denied a ticket in 2014 general elections.
Levelling serious allegations against his former party, Panigrahi said BJD left no stone unturned to defeat its own candidate, Acharya, during the 2014 elections and it is evident from the fact that police were on hunting down his protesters.
Panigrahi said that during his tenure as Bijepur's MLA several developmental works were initiated by him. People had witnessed an all-round development in the area but from 2004 to till date (during the three consecutive terms of late Subal Sahu) there has been no progress.
"In his 13-year of rule, Subal Sahu spoke a lot against the BJD and even criticised ‘Biju Babu’ and the CM. However, after his death, someone from his family getting a BJD ticket is unfortunate and saddening," he lamented.
Clearing the air on his plans for the upcoming bypoll, Panigrahi also said he is ready to join BJP, if approached.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik rubbished the claims of Panigrahi stating them as 'untrue'.