Dama Rout to float new party; BJD denies impact

Bhubaneswar: Expelled BJD leader Damodar Rout on Wednesday announced to float a new party by the end of this month stating that it will be named after former Chief Minister late Biju Patnaik.

Ever since the BJD expelled the senior leader for his alleged anti-party activities, he has been the centre stage of Odisha politics. With the announcement of plans of a new party, Rout is believed to have taken the first step towards his ‘checkmate challenge’ that he recently threw at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The ex-minister said that after a thorough discussion, a decision related to the name of the new party and other details will be taken. But speculations are rife that the new party will take shape towards the end of October and some names like Biju Kranti Dal or Trinamool Biju Janata Dal might be chosen.

Though Rout hinted at formation of a new party in the name of Biju Patnaik, he didn’t directly name the people who will be a part of the party.

When asked about it earlier yesterday, Rout had said he had discussed with Jay Panda who has given his consent for the new party, Bijoy Mohapatra has been beyond reach and he has not met Dillip Ray in this connection. It is to be noted that all these leaders were the founding members of the present BJD.

Rout said that he is in touch with followers of Biju Babu and added that while the present Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has fake Biju followers; his new party will have people who truly believe in the principles of the legendary leader.

He further stated that when he raked up the matter with former minister and BJD leader Prafulla Ghadei, he agreed to the proposal but changed his mind afterwards in the evening.

“I found that when some people proposed it to Ghadei, he agreed but later after a phone call from Pandian, he changed his mind thinking that the decision might jeopardise his son’s career who is presently a leader in BJD,” Rout said.

While Ghadei was unavailable to comment on the matter, Bijoy Mohaptra said that in the next two months, a new political equation will definitely take shape.

Former MP Jay Panda however said that he is open to all options and will inform about his future course of action himself and not through anyone else.

“I am meeting various people & discussing the future of Odisha politics. I remain open to ALL options. As & when I take a decision about my future course, the public will hear it from my own mouth, not through anyone else,” Panda said in a tweet.

BJD leader Sarat Kar said that Dama Rout has not spoken to him on the matter and he will not join the new party.

“No one has spoken to me in this regard. Though technically I am in BJD, practically I am not in the party as I am not called for any programs or given any responsibilities” he said.

However, Food Supplies minister, Surya Narayan Patro said that the new party of Rout, if formed, will have no impact on the ruling-BJD.

“Rout statements are childish. It will have no impact,” said Patro.