Bhubaneswar: Following the recent statement by the two senior BJP leaders of Odisha, BJP MLA of Rourkela Dilip Ray and Bijay Mohapatra, against the gross apathy of the party leadership towards them, speculation is rife that the duo might resign from the party membership sooner or later.
Briefing the media here on Sunday, Ray, without naming any of his party leaders, said that they do not want any development in Rourkela.
“An influential leader of my party wants that the number of votes polled in favour of the BJP in Rourkela and Sundargarh in the last assembly elections should not be repeated this time as he has a feeling that I will get the entire credit if any development of Rourkela is done during my tenure. This is not my feeling. Rather this is the feeling of the people of Rourkela. I will try for one last time. If I fail in my efforts, I will take a decision in next 3-4 days,” Ray said.
He said though the Prime Minister had assured of a second bridge over Brahmani river and upgrading Ispat General Hospital (IGH) to a super speciality hospital in Rourkela, no steps have been taken till date despite his fervent request to the Centre and state party leadership. “I have no objection if they are keen for development of Rourkela by keeping me aloof. After all, I don’t want a confrontation with anyone over this issue,” Ray added.
Despite being a BJP MLA, Ray hardly attends any political programme of his party and it has been a case since long. His strained relationship Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been an open secret.
Meanwhile, supporting the contention of his party colleague, senior leader Bijay Mohapatra on Monday said everyone including the state government, the Centre, the state BJP and people of Odisha know about the demands raised by Ray.
“The BJP and the Centre should have sincerely considered his demands. Every leader has the right to take a political decision on his own. If a legislator is ignored and criticised, he/she will be forced to take a decision. Since Ray has raised this issue, one should not be surprised at his decision,” Mahapatra told mediapersons here.
Replying to a question about the statement of Ray, who always consults him on any political issue, Mahapatra said, “We will jointly take a decision after a meeting.”
Like Ray, Mohapatra does not share a good rapport with the state BJP leadership.