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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: A purported audio clip in which suspended BJD leader from Balasore, Jeevan Pradeep Das was heard saying, ‘BJP-BJD are one and the same’, has created a political storm in Odisha.

Das, a former MLA from Balasore Sadar constituency, was recently suspended from the BJD by party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for ‘anti-party activities’ after the audio clip went viral.

Das today clarified stating, “I spoke such things to know what was in the mind of the worker (who he spoke to). The audio clip has been tampered with. The CM should have heard my side of the story which he didn't. It would have been appropriate if I was issued a show-cause notice before I was suspended unilaterally.”

Meanwhile, the viral audio provided ammunition to the Congress party to train its guns on the ruling party as well as the BJP.

Congress MLA, Suresh Routray said, “We have been saying since long that both BJD and BJP are working hand in gloves and the audio clip has now proved it. Both the parties had joined hands to save their skins in various scams, like the chit-fund scam.”

Responding to the Congress allegations, senior BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said, “The Congress just wants to grab attention through such cheap talks.”

Harichandan further stated that the party didn’t feel it necessary to comment on Das’ statements as the politician had lost his relevance in Balasore.

BJD MLA, Pramila Mallick asked, “Why did Jeevan Pradeep Das not open his mouth when he was very much in BJD? It is obvious that he is making such comments only after he failed to get a party ticket,” she said adding that the BJD’s stand has been very clear about maintaining equidistance from the Congress and BJP.

In the viral audio clip Das could be heard saying that Swarup Das, who got the official BJD ticket to contest the by-poll, belonged to former MP Rabindra Jena’s camp.

Jena had played a crucial role in ensuring the party ticket to Swarup Das and there was a big conspiracy behind he entire episode, Das was heard saying.

In the run up to the polls, Das reportedly spoke to a worker over phone and the recorded conversation went viral on social media.

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