Is Mili clearing political stage for Sabyasachi?

Bhubaneswar: The Sunday public meeting of Mili Panda, wife of Odisha Maoist Party (OMP) president Sabyasachi Panda at Mayurjhalia village of Nayagarh district in which she declared to join active politics, has raised a few eyebrows amid recent talks of the Maoist leader’s return to mainstream.
"I have decided to join mainstream politics after discussing with people," Panda said yesterday at a meeting of Janamancha Odisha, which she has floated recently.

Asked whether she was creating field for her husband to return to the mainstream after surrendering, Subhasree said, "I do not know whether he will surrender. But, I will contest as an independent candidate in the next polls."

Political analysts however observe that Mili’s recently formed outfit will smoothen the Maoist leader’s entry into electoral politics.

“Though Sabyasachi has been refusing to return to mainstream time and again, Mili’s political outfit will be driven by him in the coming days, once she sets everything right,” said Naveen Dash, a political observer.

“The message is clear that the OMP chief, sooner or later is joining active politics after severing ties with all Red activities,” added Dash.

According to some others, the nine month time taken by Janamorch Odisha chairperson to declare her formal entry into politics was too long.

“Mili would have plunged into politics long back, but she did wait only to watch silently whether her husband is getting any government initiative to return to mainstream which would have helped him to gain entry into politics,” said a political analyst, requesting not to divulge identity.

“Though the road will not be so smooth for the fugitive, guidance from his father, former Ranapur MLA Ramesh Chandra Panda will help him,” added the source.

Earlier on last April 11, Mill had expressed her willingness to join politics after she was set free by the Gunupur ADJ court in Kutinguda encounter case. She also had wanted to play the role of a mediator for the safe release of Italian national Paolo Bosusco.

The development draws significance in the backdrop of several urgings by civil society members in the past couple of months asking the OMP leader to return to mainstream.  

Notably in November 2012, DGP Prakash Mishra had extended an olive branch to Sabyasachi Panda.

"We have appealed to Sabysachi to return to the mainstream. If he does that, there would be no obstruction from our side for his safe return," Mishra had said adding if he comes forward to surrender, we will suspend our ongoing operations in southern Odisha.