Pressure mounts on CM to drop Badri Patra and Pradeep Maharathy

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government now seems to be in a fix as opposition BJP has mounted attacks over the objectionable remarks on women by Minister Pradeep Maharathy. Similarly, demands over removal of Minister Badri Narayan Patra have also gained grounds following arrest of his son.

Not only opposition, several leaders within the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are also of the opinion that action needs to be taken as several ministers were shown the doors for wrongdoings even by their relatives in the past.

BJD MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said, “Those ministers, whose relativeshave committed crime, should be criticized. Minister Badri Patra’s son has been arrested now. I don’t know what Chief Minister will do, but the minister should introspect.”

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleged that influential people from the ruling party are engaged in goondaraj and making objectionable statements on women which are not acceptable in democracy.

“If they (BJD) have ethics, they should dismiss such ministers from the cabinet,” said Pradhan.

It is pertinent to mention here that several leaders including Raghunath Mohanty was dropped from Naveen cabinet after he was arrested in connection with the dowry torture case filed by his daughter-in-law Barsha Swony Choudhury.

However, speculation is now rife over Chief Minister’s silence on Badri Patra and Pradeep Maharathy issue.

Whether both ministers are enjoying patronage of the third floor officer or whether the government fears similar attacks which it is now witnessing after senior leader Damodar Rout was expelled from the party? Such questions are now being discussed in the State.

Odisha PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik, however, put the ball in the court of BJD. He said “The reasons for dismissal of the ministers should be considered by the ruling party.”

Speaking in the same lines as State PCC Chief Patnaik, former leader Damodar Rout said it is an internal affair of BJD and their party supremo should decide on it.

Both ministers– Badri Patra and Maharathy were not available for comments in this regard. However, Maharathy had earlier, refuted the allegations leveled against him.

However, BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash on the other hand defended both the ministers.

“From the point-of-view of the party, Minister Badri Patra has not committed any wrong which could draw action. Even Maharathy in his statements has also not said anything objectionable,” said Dash.

Reacting to the statements made by BJD MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Badri Patra said, “Soumya Babu is a businessman and only thinks about business. Not only Keonjhar, Congress has lost ground across Odisha due to his family. He thought that saying a few things about Badri Patra would give his relative, who is Congress PCC chief, some political mileage.”

“I don’t know since when is he allowed by the BJD to engage in these war-of-words. He needs to stop helping Congress while being in BJD,” Patra said.