Dama Rout hints about formation of new regional party in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Expelled BJD leader Damador Rout Friday hinted at the possibility of loyalists of former chief minister Biju Patnaik ousted from the Biju Janata Dal coming together to form a new regional party ahead of the 2019 elections.

Assembly elections in Odisha are also due along with Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

Rout who was on Wednesday expelled from the BJD, said people loyal to Biju Patnaik, may form the new political outfit as they have been ousted from the BJD headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“Senior leaders like Bijoy Mohapatra, Dilip Ray, Jairam Pangi (now in BJP), Prafulla Ghadai, Baijayant Panda, Panchanan Kanungo and Samata Kranti Dal leader and former Union Minister Brajakishore Tripathy may come forward to set up another regional party in Odisha,” Rout told reporters here.

He alleged that the BJD was being run by one officer and three young MLAs and Naveen Patnaik during his 18-years rule has sacked or annoyed 40 senior leaders.

“If these people come together and form a party, I will be with them and propagate Biju ideology,” Rout said.

The 75-year-old Paradip MLA, who had announced that he will remain active in politics and contest the next elections, accused Naveen Patnaik of ousting all the former Biju Patnaik loyalists from the BJD.

“Now, maximum number of leaders in the BJD have not seen Biju Patnaik in person or were opposing the legendary leader during his life time,” said Rout, adding that he would not hesitate to become part of the proposed new political outfit if all former Biju loyalists join hands.

Former BJD MP Baijayant Panda had alleged that BJD was gradually becoming the political party without having former Biju Patnaik loyalists.

Meanwhile, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that the possible new political outfit will have no impact in the state.

BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishara said: “The people of Odisha have already recognised Naveen Patnaik. The effort to form a party to get Biju Patnaik legacy will not help others.”