Bhubaneswar: The war of words between Paradip MLA and Excise minister Damodar Rout and Cuttack MLA Debashis Samantray intensified on Sunday with the former calling the latter a 'rat' and Samantray hitting back saying the minister is feeling 'insecure'.
The fresh round of verbal duel between the two started yesterday after the Congress won the Cuttack Ward no-21 bypoll when Rout all but blamed the Cuttack-Barabati legislator, who was widely seen to be micro-managing the by poll, for the loss. Samantaray returned the compliment saying it was unfortunate that a senior like Rout was constantly throwing barbs at him.
Taking off from where he had left yesterday, Rout said today; “Why should I talk about Debashis and and make him important? Why should I oppose him? In fact, he is behaving like a squirrel and a rat and creating trouble in my constituency. I have never tried to do anything like that."
The minister went on; “I am a junior leader but an elderly one with 40 years in public life. Once Biju Babu had told me accumulating wealth is in the nature of man. Only someone who can stay away from such temptation can become a people’s representative. Many friends, including Debashis, have forgotten the ideology. He believes accumulating wealth is the nature of a common man and we are people's representatives because we have this thing in excess.. The result of such thinking is now there for everyone to see. Why should I be blamed for any comments?”
Reacting sharply to Rout's barb, Samantray said, “One thing is clear; he (Damodar Rout) is making such statement because he bears a grudge against me. I will not go down to that level. He is in the habit of making statements like this at a personal level. He is doing the same in case of other MPs and ministers too. This does not behave a senior leader like him. He should ask himself before behaving like this. I don’t want to comment on this.”
The Barabati-Cuttack legislator said, “Dama babu must be knowing why he is feeling insecure,” adding that the minister should talk after considering every aspect.".
“Dama babu is making personal comments. He should understand that it does not look good keeping his age in view,” he added.
Meanwhile, another leader of BJD and Cuttack Choudwar MLA Pravat Biswal jumped into the fray and attacked the Cooperation minister for his remarks against Samantray.
Biswal told media persons, “Dama babu is a senior leader in the party. We have a lot of resepct for him. This type of comment is not appropriate on his part. Besides, BJD is a disilplined party and will not accept such behaviour.”
“The minister knows after becoming an MLA, we are selling our properties. To serve the people, some ministers and party MLAs have sold their properties,” he stated.
"This kind of statement is not appropriate on the basis of the result of a poll in a ward. He (Dama babu) usually makes personal remarks and changes it later,” he retorted.
“Dama babu should not comment on Cuttack affairs. He is the legislator from Paradip and should think of his constituency. He should bear in mind the party high command’s directive in this regard,” Biswal said.