Pyari issues veiled threat to Naveen

Bhubaneswar: BJD MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, suspended from the party following an attempted coup on May 29 when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was away in London, today issued a veiled threat should his loyalists be removed.

"…He (Naveen) is out on a Pyari hunt. I have many loyalists in the party. But if he (Naveen) is nurturing the idea of getting rid of my loyalists, he will be left with none and end up losing power," Mohapatra told a news channel. Mohapatra, who till May this year was considered the chief advisor of Patnaik, also alleged he was receiving indirect threat of arrest and imprisonment.

"I am not afraid of these threats. I will face the situation as it comes," the 72-year-old Rajya Sabha MP said. He alleged a daily newspaper promoted by him had been a victim of the government. "They (government) have stopped advertisements and issued a direction to industry and commercial establishments not to give advertisements," Mohapatra claimed.

Information and Public Relations minister S N Patro rejected Mohapatra`s allegation claiming all newspapers were being treated equally. BJD vice-president Damodar Rout described Mohapatra`s statement as the `voice of a frustated` person.

"He (Mohapatra) does not have any loyalist in the ministry or the party. The chief minister has advised us to ignore him," Rout told reporters. Three ministers, Anjali Behera, Sanjib Sahu and Sarada Prasad Nayak, were also sacked from the ministry on charge of anti-party activities following the May 29 incident.