Biju centenary fete at Paradip pits Dama against party

Bhubaneswar: A war of words ensued between BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena and Minister Damodar Rout on Monday over the birth centenary celebrations of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik at Paradip on March 5.

While Jena maintained that the party had not taken any decision to celebrate the birth centenary of the legendary leader at Paradip, Rout reacted saying the celebrations will be organised by the Biju Memorial Trust and no one’s permission is needed for it.

“As far as I know, the BJD has not taken any decision to hold the function at Paradip. If Damodar Rout has decided to organise any such event in his personal capacity, I have nothing to say about that,” Jena told media persons here.

Rout reacted wondering if Jena had studied at a primary school. “The function will be organised at Paradip to honour the wishes of the people of the area,” he added.

Notably, minister Rout, who is also Paradip MLA, announced in a press meet on Sunday that the birth centenary of former chief minister Biju Patnaik will be celebrated in a grand manner at Paradip on March 5.

“We have invited many national level leaders, the Governor and the Chief Minister of Odisha to grace the mega function. We have written to leaders like Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav though we have not received their consents yet to attend the function organised by the Biju Memorial Trust,” Rout had said.