Tathagat, Pinaki meet CM; fuel talk of Dasburma’s ouster

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the Pajero vehicle row involving Food Supplies minister Sanjay Dasburma is refusing to die down, chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s back to back meetings with two party MPs today provided enough fodder for speculation about the beleaguered minister’s ouster from the council of ministers .

While Puri Lok Sabha MP Pinaki Mishra visited Patnaik at the secretariat, Dhenkanal MP Tathagat Satpathy called on the CM in the afternoon after Mishra’s departure.

Political corridors are abuzz with speculation that the BJD supremo, known for his clean and spotless image, is in consultation mode with senior party leaders over the issue, which has been simmering for quite some time now.

But Satpathy, who had hogged media headlines throughout Friday for his thinly-veiled ‘rat’ jibe at Dasburma, remained tight-lipped about the meeting.

“I discussed with the CM regarding the drinking water problem in my constituency,” quipped he.

Though Mishra was not available for comments, his two-hour long meeting with the BJD president suggested that a decision on the issue is imminent.

The ruling party has been embarrassed on the matter with two senior members nudging Dasburma to resign on moral grounds.

Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab, the leader of the BJD Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha, had said the Opposition demand for the latter’s resignation was “a good suggestion.”

Echoing Mahatab’s remark, Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan said, “Though Dasburma claims innocence, the chief minister will take a call on the issue.”