Mahtab’s 2nd Op-ed creates ripples again in BJD

Naveen resents party leaders reflecting opinion in media

Bhubaneswar: Five days after BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab ruffled party leaders through his column in a vernacular daily, the veteran parliamentarian has once again shaken the tectonic plates in the party in another writeup today.

Besides criticising some party leaders like Damodar Rout and Surya Narayan Patro, Mahatab also blamed news channels for ‘amplifying’ his first article.

“It’s ridiculous that Surya Patro is saying how I won election from Cuttack four-five times if there are cracks in party. Moreover, Damodar Rout is saying I am not aware about BJD as I am staying in Delhi. This piece is not for them. The objective is to clarify things as certain TV channels tried to amplify my first column”, he mentioned in the column.

Mahtab, who is also the parliamentary party chief of BJD in Lok Sabha, attributed BJP’s rise in panchayat polls to the dismal show of Congress while raising concern about the decrease of BJD votes too. “BJP gained only due to loss of Congress votes. But, BJD votes also have slashed from 43% to 40%. This has to be admitted and preventive measures must be taken accordingly”, the column read.

Sticking to his earlier version of cracks in party, the Lok Sabha member said some locals leaders, who had contested the panchayat elections against the wish of local MLAs, are not being invited to district-wari meetings chaired by party chief Naveen Patnaik. “If these things happens, intra-party squabbles would increase or decrease?”, he questioned. BJD MLAs should be careful to cement the cracks in party at their respective constituencies, he suggested.

The MP cautioned some of his critics to refrain from blaming him. “Fight for power is common practice in every party so also in BJD. But I can’t tolerate any conspiracy and bid to blame someone in party”, he added in the column.

Meanwhile, BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik reacted to the column stating “”If senior leaders have anything negative to say, they should come to me with their complaints & not go to media”, while taking to reporters.