Odisha: BJD Removes Soumya Patnaik From Party’s Vice-President Post
Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday removed Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik from the post of party’s vice-president.
However, the office order cites no reason for his removal.
This came amid speculation of possible disciplinary action against the lawmaker over his critical views on the ruling dispensation and 5T secretary V K Pandian and the seemingly growing differences within the ruling party ahead of twin elections scheduled in April 2024 in Odisha. BJD leaders have been targeting Soumya, accusing him of blackmailing the party, for the past few days.
On September 9, Industries and Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb even asked Soumya to quit BJD if he was unable to abide by the party discipline. BJD MP Amar Patnaik later told the media that criticising the party while being a member was unacceptable.
Soumya had earlier retorted that his attempts to reform the party cannot be called indiscipline. He also said the leaders making statements against him were being pressurised to do so.
In editorial articles in a leading Odia daily as well as bytes to journalists, the legislator had attacked 5T secretary V K Pandian’s whirlwind district visits and stranglehold over the government and party.