After Removal From BJD Vice-President Post, Soumya Asks Whether Odisha CM’s Signature In Party Order Is Genuine

Bhubaneswar: Unperturbed over his removal from the post of vice-president of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on Tuesday raised questions on the genuineness of party president Naveen Patnaik’s signature in the office order.

Expressing doubts over authenticity of the removal order, the lawmaker said the office order of his removal from the post of vice-president carries the signature of Naveen Patnaik. “However, I suspect whether the signature is genuine or fake,” Soumya told reporters.

Stating that he had sought time to meet the Chief Minister around a week ago, the legislator said he was not given time, but the order removing him from the post came today. Therefore, it is difficult to figure out whether the signature of the CM is genuine or forged, he said.

Regarding the action taken by the party, the lawmaker said it is the discretion and prerogative of the BJD president, who is also the Chief Minister, to decide as to who will remain in what post in the organisation. It is always the prerogative of the party’s president to assign responsibilities to persons and pick them as associates, he said.

Stating that Naveen had appointed him as party vice-president, Soumya said now the party chief has decided to remove him from the post and there is nothing unusual about it.

“Personally, I do not think I have lost anything as the post of vice-president is of little significance. It is just an ornamental post with no major role assigned,” said the legislator.

On the other hand, Soumya’s removal from the post has evoked sharp reactions from a number of senior leaders of different political parties, including opposition Congress and BJP.

Describing the action taken against the Khandapada MLA as unacceptable, veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra also expressed doubt whether the Chief Minister is aware of the move.

BJD leaders should have held discussion with Soumya before removing him from the post, he said.

Terming BJD as a private company, Soumya’s elder brother and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said that his younger brother was appointed as BJD vice-president by Naveen and now the Chief Minister himself decided to remove him from the post. Naveen is the sole ‘proprietor’ in BJD and he assigns responsibilities to different people, he said.

However, such things do not happen in Congress where President and vice-presidents are democratically elected by party members, said Niranjan.

Senior BJP leader and former MLA Pradeep Purohit said he has doubts whether the party office order removing Soumya from VP post bears the real signature of the Chief Minister. In fact, Naveen may be unaware of the action taken against Soumya, the BJP leader claimed.

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