Pangi Bats For Baijayant, Targets ‘Third Floor’

Bhubaneswar: In what could signal possible developments within Odisha’s ruling party, BJD renegade Jayaram Pangi on Sunday batted for Kendrapada MP Baijayant Panda, while targeting IAS officer V K Pandian, private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

This came on a day Naveen was felicitated the “adarsh mukhyamantri (ideal CM)’ at a function in Pune.

Pangi, who joined BJP in May 2017, in his Facebook post alleged that Naveen was acting on the advice of his private secretary. The former Koraput MP said incumbent Koraput MP Jhina Hikaka (BJD) does not answer phone calls of his party workers, causing disgruntlement in the party’s youth wing in the district. “But the BJD president does not take action against Hikaka since Pandian does not want it,” he claimed.

Making apparent a well-calibrated strategy of Naveen baiters to target bureaucrats considered close to the Chief Minister, Pangi said there is conspiracy against Panda, who has of late started attacking the chief minister’s office sparking speculation that he might be getting cozy with the BJP. “The reality in BJD is that if you work sincerely and diligently for the party you would be criticised,” Pangi alleged.

Pangi’s version came on the heels of scathing attacks by former legislators Nabin Nanda and Ramaranjan Baliarsingh and ex-MP Baisnab Parida against the ‘third floor (CMO)’.

BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb scotched the allegations. “No one can go beyond the powers vested in the chair s/he occupies. Whosoever is working for the Chief Minister has to follow his directions.”

Political analysts said with Odisha’s politicosphere turning hotter ahead of 2019 twin elections in the state, allegations and counter allegations among political rivals is bound to grow. “But what is seemingly a new political strategy, ostensibly planned by the BJP, is to demoralise bureaucrats by targeting them,” a senior journalist observed.

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