Dama-Debasis in war of words over CMC Mayor’s exit

Bhubaneswar: Two heavyweights of Biju Janta Dal (BJD) – minister Damodar Rout and Barabati-Cuttack MLA Debasis Samantray on Monday engaged each other in a verbal duel that frequently got personal over the action taken by the party against former Mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) Anita Behera.

The war of words between the two leaders started after party vice president Damodar Rout disapproved of the action taken against the former mayor. “She (Anita) may have resigned on moral grounds. But she should not have been forced to do so for receiving a ration card under National Food Security Act (NFSA).

BJD general secretary Debasis Samantray questioned Dama’s authority to comment on a party decision.

“Who is he to speak on party decision?” Samantray asked.

In reply, the veteran leader and vice president of the regional ruling party lambasted the legislator saying the latter had once opposed BJD and Biju Patnaik.

“He (Debasis) had been opposing Biju Patnaik and his party till 2000. He had tried to foil Biju Babu’s meeting at Tirtol in 1989 with swords and weapons,” Dama said.

Not content with the verbal duel that was already turning vitriolic, Samantray commented on the constituency Dama represents sarcastically.

“Dama Babu has expressed his resentment over every issue in entire Odisha. He should think about his own area and let others take care of their respective localities. He should get him treated at the earliest,” he said.

Never one to mince words Rout hit back with gusto. “I know how he has become healthy and by eating what. I do not want to eat these things; I would rather use doctor’s medicine to remain fit,” the voluble minister said.

“Even after he had killed four persons in my constituency by bursting crackers, nobody raised a voice against him,” he added.

Intensifying his attack on the party legislator, Rout, who is also the excise minister of the State, said- “As a contractor, he wanted the construction work of Mahanadi barrage worth Rs 97 crore for which he did not have the wherewithal. This was in 1997 when his cousin Basant Biswal was a minister. I had opposed him because of which he did not get the contract. That’s why he is against me,’ Rout signed off.