Was There A Silent Coup Within BJD To Topple The Naveen Government In Odisha?
Bhubaneswar: Expelled BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahi’s statements that there was a plot to topple the Naveen Patnaik government has created a political storm over the simmering discontentment brewing within the ranks of the ruling party in Odisha.
Though only time will say how much ground does Panigrahi’s statement hold, it has nevertheless become a point of discussion, especially among those in the power corridors in the State.
A day after making some startling revelations on Sunday, the Gopalpur MLA on Monday sought to roll out some more skeletons out of the closet of the monolithic Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Panigrahi claimed that from political leaders to bureaucrats, everyone in the State is afraid of ‘One man’.
“The party leaders are always apprehensive whether they will get tickets while those having ministerial berths are in a perpetual state of insecurity over losing their posts. There is growing discontentment among the leaders with the party leadership,” said Panigrahi adding that other party leaders will meet with the same fate like him if they opened their mouth.
“There is resentment among party leaders as there is no mechanism to hear their grievances. There is no one to look after the constituencies. Everybody is afraid of only One person,” said Panigrahi, who was ‘expelled’ from BJD on charges of ‘anti-people’ activities on Sunday.
Meanwhile, reacting to Panigrahi, BJD MLA Bikram Panda said, “ Whenever any leader is found indulging in anti-people or anti party activities, they have been sacked summarily by Naveen Patnaik. Panigrahi’s expulsion is just another example in that line.”
Earlier on Sunday, within hours after his expulsion from BJD, Panigrahi, while addressing a press conference, had stated that Biswajit Mohanty, who was recently appointed as the BJD general secretary, had told him that there were attempts to topple the Naveen government.
“Without wasting time, I had passed the information to the Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo, Naveen Patnaik,” Panigrahi said.
Following the incident, BJD general secretary (organisation) Bobby Das alias Pranab Prakash Das and MP Achyuta Samanta had visited his house and pulled him for revealing it to the Chief Minister, Panigrahi had said.
It is speculated that following this incident a conspiracy had been hatched to draw curtains over Panigrahi’s political career. Though OTV tried to contact Biswajit Mohanty for reaction over Panigrahi’s claims, the former was not available for comments.
Meanwhile, BJP and Congress leaders, who are keenly watching the developments within the BJD, spoke differently on the facts and circumstances leading to Panigrahi’s ouster.
“Within BJD, there are many leaders and MLAs like Pradeep Panigrahi who are not able to speak their heart out. But we are confident that they will come forward and speak their mind before the public. There will be an explosion within the BJD soon,” said BJP leader Mohan Majhi.
Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja said, “Whatever Pradeep Panigrahi said might be true. But the BJP is always backstabbing BJD and trying every means to come to power. The party should understand it.”