Bhubaneswar: Following a series of verbal and written complaints against BJD MP Jay Panda made before party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over his alleged 'anti-party' activities, the parliamentarian today blew the lid off the entire string of events through a Facebook post. The MP on social media platform, termed the complaints as ‘farcical’ & ‘orchestrated’ and posted some photographs to prove the claims of the complainants wrong.
"The ongoing farcical 'complaints' against me by block and district-level BJD office bearers is an orchestrated campaign conducted by the bureaucrat-cum-politician who has gained nearly total control over our party. Here are photos of some of the 'complainants' with me, giving the lie to the claim that I don't keep in touch with them! These pictures show that not only have I kept in touch with party members, but have also actively involved them in my reviews and inaugurations of infrastructure projects, both MPLAD and others," Panda posted on Facebook.
Rendering false the claim of the Derabish block chairman that Jay Panda has not been touch with any party workers, the parliamentarian posted a captioned photograph wherein both of them are seen reviewing the construction of the district’s first large auditorium scheduled to be inaugurated soon.
"BJD's Derabish block chairman reviewing along with me the construction of the very same project (Kendrapada's first large auditorium & Odisha's biggest ever MPLAD-funded project) which he is now threatening to disrupt!! It saddens me that they can think of obstructing projects which late Biju babu had conceived/supported and I'm trying to fulfil," the MP mentioned.
The MP has also reiterated the involvement of a ‘babu-politician’ in the whole episode. “Of course, a serving bureaucrat being actively involved in politics is *strictly* forbidden in the service code. ...But what I'm terribly anguished about is that my leader, whom I've assisted, admired & supported for more than two decades, does not seem to be aware of this conspiracy??" Panda added.
Stating that he is ready to respond to the 'complaints' that the party’s district observer makes, Panda expressed his gratitude to his constituents. “The immense outpouring of support from my constituents and Odisha's general public is a great source of comfort and strength to me," the MP further stated.
BJD's Kendrapara district president Dhruba Sahoo on Thursday submitted a report to CM Naveen on what he and some members consider as anti-party activities of MP Baijayant Jay Panda. In the report, Sahoo stated, "The Kendrapara MP ignores party workers and their interests. He is guided by a few henchmen, who are either from Congress or BJP. Panda's visit to the area has been quite infrequent without any prior information to cadre people of the party who matter."
Besides, Panda, he alleged in the report, never consults party workers while selecting projects to be taken up from MPLAD fund. "Panda is whimsical about the use of his MPLAD fund. During selection of projects, he never consults with party workers. The LAD fund is used as per the advice of his henchman and paid supporters," Sahoo mentioned in the report.
In another response filed later in the day, Jay Panda’s office maintained that “It’s evident from the participation of almost all the block level leaders in recent inauguration event of Dholmara under Rajnagar block that party people are well informed and given due importance in such programs.”
On misutilisation of MPLAD funds, Jay Panda’s office said the MP has recommended about Rs 3.63 crore worth of projects till date and more will be allocated in near future. Out of these many projects have been undertaken in consultation with Dhruba Sahoo and his representatives, his office stated.
Earlier, representatives from Nischintakoili, Mahakalpara, Salipur and Kendrapara had approached Patnaik with similar allegations against Panda. Many believe that these are deliberate efforts on the part of a few party members to attack Jay Panda.
Following the series of allegations against the MP, BJD president and CM Naveen Patnaik has asked party's Cuttack district observer, Usha Devi and Kendrapara district observer, Pramilla Mallick to probe the charges.
Following CM's directive, Mallick today met various party activists in the district and collected data regarding expenditure of MPLAD fund. She, however, said that she has not been able to contact Jay Panda for the past two days.
"I tried several times, but failed to establish any contact with the Parliamentarian over last two days. Even I was unable to contact his political secretary. I met grassroots level workers in panchayat and block levels and sought their views. I will directly report to the CM," Mallick said.
The MP, meanwhile, refuted the statement of Mallick.
"That's simply not true! She'd called my home last night when I was out. I called her back this morning... I asked her to give me in writing the allegations against me & I'd respond. She agreed," Panda tweeted.