Introspection time for BJD: Baijayant Panda

Bhubaneswar: A day after the twitter war between BJD MPs Baijayant Jay Panda and Tathagata Satpathy, the former on Tuesday said that time has come to analyse the regional party’s success and challenges. In an article in a vernacular daily, the Kendrapara MP stated other parties are gaining ground (in Odisha) because of their dynamic new leadership and unless the BJD’s founder urgently deals with the issues the party facing currently, it will struggle to face challenges.

Mentioning about the death of legendary Biju Patnaik in 1997 and the formation of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in December same year, he recalled the party’s struggle in the initial years which faced the ‘dominating presence’ of the then chief minister Janaki Ballabh Patnaik.

“Looking at various socio economic indices over the past 17 years, there can be no denying that Odisha has indeed come a long way. But there can and will be debate as to how much more could have been achieved, especially with regard to investment and jobs,” the article read.

“Through these two decades, until now, the BJD’s vote share and electoral performance only kept on improving. That is why to casual observers, the Panchayat election results came as a shock. To those who have been analysing the party’s evolution in the past three or four years, it should have been no surprise. But many key positions are no longer held by people who struggled for the party, who might have given honest feedback, but rather by opportunists from various fields, including some who had worked against BJD,” the article further noted.

The parliamentarian pointed out that before the party’s formation, there was much ‘corruption, rampant goondagiri, police harassment of victims instead of perpetrators and dire poverty,’ which are again being alleged about Odisha in the past couple of years.

“If we honestly introspect, we must acknowledge that all the above-listed allegations about the political environment in 1997 including widespread corruption and sheltering of powerful people committing criminal acts, are again being alleged about Odisha in the past three years,” he noted.

Panda’s article however has not gone down well with the regional party which said that the matter should be discussed in a proper forum.

“It would have been more appropriate had he (Panda) given the suggestion to the party president in written or meeting the latter….That means he is trying to discuss the party’s matter outside a forum which is against the party’s constitution,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said.

“I believe the party’s president will analyse this,” Deb added.