All Biju Babu supporters have been removed from BJD: Jay Panda

Bhubaneswar: It’s disheartening that those who were strong supporters of Biju Babu and had worked with him have been removed from the Biju Janata Dal one after another. The action taken against Dama Babu seems like an injustice, said former MP Baijayant Panda after meeting ex-minister Damodar Rout who was expelled from the BJD yesterday.

“The BJD, in which we had been since the beginning and were feeling proud to be a part of, used to take immediate action against any allegation of corruption. Now, when so many allegations of corruption have surfaced, action is being taken against people voicing the irregularities. It’s saddening… It’s not the same Biju Janata Dal anymore,” said Panda.

Whatever has happened in the last 3-4 years is not a good sign in the interest of Odisha. The principles based on which the BJD was formed 20 years ago to raise voice against violence, corruption and ensure respect to women, have all changed now, said Panda.

“I have experienced violence like egg attack and stone pelting. Crime against women and children has increased but action is not being taken. It’s disheartening. Biju Babu never feared to take action against those involved in corruption. The party doesn’t remain the same anymore,” the former MP said.

On being asked about any alternative solution that the expelled Biju Babu supporters may come up with in future, Panda said that he will inform once the decision is taken.

“Those who were part of the Biju parivar since the beginning have always been in a good relationship with each other,” Panda stated while responding to a question that whether Dama Rout was expelled because he has close ties with him.

Meanwhile, Dama Rout said Jay Panda paid a courtesy visit and there was no political discussion as the former Kendrapara MP knows the reason why he (Rout) was expelled from the BJD.

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“Our discussion was mostly on the way CM Naveen Patnaik is changing his rules to save his position, which is against the principles of Biju Babu and he (CM Naveen) has already removed all the Biju supporters from the party one after another. Those who are now in the BJD have no principles and most of them have entered politics through corruption,” said Rout.

The party that has been formed in the name of ‘Biju Babu’ is now surrounded with people who opposed him. CM Naveen claims to be maintaining equidistance from both the BJD and the Congress but always maintains a secret nexus. The present BJD has no moral responsibility and accountability towards the people of Odisha, Rout added.

“CM Naveen had called me and included to the party fold, I didn’t go on my own; Naveen is now working contrary to the principles of Biju Babu to save his position which must be hurting the great man,” Rout further said, adding that the sooner Naveen leaves the State, the better for Odisha.

Also Read: Former minister, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout expelled from party

However, while speaking to the media in New Delhi, BJD president and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said that Dama Rout was expelled from the party for the anti-party activities he had been indulged in.

After returning to Bhubaneswar, Patnaik further said, “Dama Babu is always making irresponsible statements; his allegations are fruitless & ridiculous.”

Responding to a question whatif Dama and other leaders expelled from the party forms a political outfit to counter the BJD in 2019 elections, CM Naveen said that it will have no impact on the party’s (BJD’s) prospects in the ensuing general elections.

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