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Speculation rife after 3 Cuttack MLAs, Rout visit CMO

Bhubaneswar: Motormouth Excise minister Damodar Rout and three BJD MLAs from Cuttack district – Mahanga MLA and BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena, Cuttack Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray and Cuttack Sadar legislator Pravat Biswal – landed at the Chief Minister’s chamber in the secretariat one after another this morning, setting off speculation that the visit had to do with ongoing spat between Rout and the three MLAs over the last fortnight or so.

Jena was the first to enter the CM’s office followed by Samantray and Biswal together. Rout was the last to go in. They also left the CM’s chamber in the same order. Of the four, only Rout is believed to have met the CM.

While Rout, Samantaray and Biswal remained tight-lipped about the purpose of their visit, Jena said the two Cuttack city MLAs had gone to discuss some issues related to their constituencies.

“I am not too sure if Samantaray and Biswal met the Chief Minister. But they told me they had gone to discuss some issues related to their constituencies,” Jena told waiting media persons.

On his part, Rout said he had given a ‘message’ to Patnaik without elaborating what exactly that message was or what transpired in the two-minute meeting.

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Notably, the BJD vice president had termed Samantray, Jena and Biswal as ‘ghosts’ a few days ago. He said he was taken aback after seeing the three legislators sitting inside the CM’s car after the CM had asked him to come with him. He had thought them to be ‘ghosts’, the minister added.

However, he did a U-turn yesterday saying he had never said any such thing.

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