Pyari Mohan Mohapatra resigns as BJD RS leader

Bhubaneswar: Suspended BJD MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra today resigned as the party`s parliamentary group leader in Rajya Sabha.

"I have submitted my resignation letter to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha this morning," Mohapatra told PTI on his return here.

He said breakdown of communication between him and BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was the reason behind his resignation. "There was no point in continuing in the post."

"I will send the copy of my resignation letter to the party president soon," he said, adding that he was, however, yet to get the formal letter from the party president regarding his suspension.

Mohapatra, who was suspended from the party along with two BJD MLAs on June 1 in the aftermath of a failed coup against the Naveen government on May 29, said he would like to work for the people of Odisha as a Rajya Sabha MP.

He was accused of having engineered the coup attempt to topple Patnaik`s government on May 29 when the Chief Minister was on a foreign visit to London.

Mohapatra had refused to accept the suspension announced by Patnaik from the state secretariat, saying "I am not a clerk that my suspension will be announced at the state secretariat. It should have either been done at the party office or at the Naveen Niwas, the residence of the party president."

Patnaik had taken action against 38 leaders, including eight ministers considered close to Mohapatra`s group, who allegedly made the coup bid. Besides the eight ministers, four corporation heads and 24 chiefs of cooperative bodies who had been appointed at Mohapatra`s recommendation have been dropped so far.

During a Ministry expansion on August 2, Patnaik dropped five of the eight ministers including Prafulla Ghadai and Atanu S Nayak for their alleged links with Mohapatra, official sources said.