Bhubaneswar: Even as the war of words among senior leaders of the BJD over the party's dismal performance in CMC by-poll has exposed the intra-party squabble, Lok Sabha member Tathagat Satpathy today created a flutter in the party with his column in the Odia daily edited by him.
“Aware urban voters are gradually turning away from the BJD which is clearly evident from the recently concluded CMC and Buguda by-elections,” the Dehnkanal MP said in his column.
He also talked about the waywardness and carelessness nature of some leaders and involvement of party MLAs in scams and scandals in his column. "The arrogant nature, carelessness and open corruption of the MLAs are tarnishing the clean image of chief minister," the column read.
Satpathy's analysis could not have come at a worse time for the ruling party, which is still grappling with the open, no-holds-barred spat among Excise minister Damodar Rout, Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray and Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Prabhat Biswal.
The three leaders, who have engaged in a heated war of words in the media for the last two days after the defeat in the CMC by-poll, again trained their guns on each other today.
The Excise minister accused Biswal of attacking the CM and Samantray of attacking the public during the PM's rally.
"When Biju Babu had given me the charge of Cuttack and I toiled hard to strengthen the party base there, where was Prabhat Biswal?. Who was throwing stones at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik near Pratap Nagari on Cuttack-Bhubaneswar road when the CM was on his way to Cuttack for campaigning?" the Paradip legislator said pointing a finger at the Choudwar legislator.
Reacting to the Rout's allegation, Biswal sought a clarification from him. "Dr Damodar Rout should clarify the names of the persons who had thrown stones at the CM. He is a person who floats an outfit within the party named 'Biju Bichara Manch' when he is ousted from the council of ministers and closes the file of his organization after getting the ministerial berth again," a sarcastic Biswal said.
Biswal, it may be noted, had yesterday questioned Rout's locus standi to speak on party affairs in Cuttacka and advised him to mind his business in Paradip.
The Excise minister did not spare his arch rival Debasis Samantray either.
"Who was seen in a 'lungi' beating up people with a stick at the Prime Minister's programme in Paradip. He is a young leader; why is he behaving like a mad man?" he asked clearly pointing towards Debasis Samantray.
For a change though, Samantray chose not to respond to the charge made by the Paradip lawmaker.
Rout's arch rival and Rajya Sabha MP of BJD Bishnu Das jumped into the ring saying only the CM can sort out such problems.
"He (Rout) is habituated to making such remarks. Everybody knows who is what. So, I do not think his media comment would have any impact on party. Only the CM’s decision can solve this problem,” he said.
However, party spokesperson Pratap Deb cautioned the leaders to refrain from making troublesome remarks.
"Those who are making statements before media must first think of its ill-impact on the party,” Deb said in a scarcely veiled warning to the sparring leaders.