Bhubaneswar: A day after quitting as chairman of the Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC), senior BJD leader Raghunath Mohanty on Sunday resigned from the primary membership of the party as well as the post of vice-president.
In a letter to the party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he attributed his resignation to personal problems.
Reliable sources said Mohanty decided to resign after being denied party ticket to contest from his home constituency, Basta in Balasore district.
Since the party is contemplating on fielding the wife of sitting Balasore MP Rabindra Jena from Basta, it could have prompted him to resign from the party.
Later speaking to mediapersons, he said the BJD had diverted from the ideals of Bijubabu on the basis of which it was formed. “The party is now being run by a group having vested interest. I was one of the founding members of the BJD and a dedicated worker. But the party leadership cold-shouldered several founding members, including me. I felt that the party did not need my services anymore and therefore, resigned to safeguard the pride of the people of Balasore district.”
When asked about contesting the polls from Basta, Mohanty said he is yet to make up his mind. “I will take a decision soon since the election process is in the last phase now,” he added.
He, however, made it clear that no members of his family will contest the polls.
On Saturday, Mohanty had submitted his resignation as OLIC chairman to the party president Naveen Patnaik.
Talking to mediapersons later, he had said he has resigned as the OLIC chairperson due to personal reasons.
Asked whether he was keen to contest the Assembly election from Basta, he said, “It is up to the party president to take a decision in this regard.”
Notably, Mohanty was removed from the post in March 2013 after he was arrested in a dowry torture case slapped by his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury. Though he had been continuously winning from Basta since 1990, the BJD president denied him party ticket to contest the 2014 polls.
However, he was reinstated in the party as the vice-president on March 16, 2018. He was the observer of the party affairs in Dhenkanal district.