Rift In BJD: Odisha Minister Asks Soumya Patnaik To Quit Party To Criticise; Opposition Supports Khandapada MLA

Bhubaneswar: Stepping up its tirade against Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik for targeting the ruling dispensation and 5T secretary V K Pandian over his whirlwind Odisha tour, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday asked him to quit the party if he is keen to criticise the party government.

After the onslaught of senior party leaders including Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and MLA Arun Sahoo in last two days, Industries and Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb on Saturday said everyone has the right to express his or her own views in a democracy.

However, when someone is functioning within a party after being elected as an MLA on its ticket, he needs to abide by the organisational discipline, the senior BJD leader said, adding that it is inappropriate to take on the party and its government while remaining within the organisation.

Remaining in the party and criticising it through writings or statements can only be described as blackmailing tactics, Deb said. Despite being a BJD MLA, Soumya Patnaik has been constantly and systematically criticising the party and its government.

He is free to indulge in such activities, write editorials and criticise the government after quitting the party, said Deb.

To a query as to why the BJD is not taking disciplinary action and ousting Patnaik from the organisation, the senior leader said Soumya Patnaik is an educated and knowledgeable person and he should know what he is supposed to do. If Soumya Patnaik thinks everything is wrong in the party and the government, he should resign, he said.

Reacting sharply to Pratap Deb’s statements, Patnaik said BJD leaders have been accusing him of resorting to blackmailing for the last two days, but they appear to have failed to understand the true meaning of the term. They should understand that someone is blackmailed if he has some weakness or hides something out of fear, he said.

Stating that he is discharging three different roles simultaneously, Patnaik said his multiple roles are bound to spark confusion. “I cannot understand how my editorials and writings are against the party’s discipline,” the BJD legislator said.

Stating that he loves BJD which is very strong, he said it is his duty to point out its weakness so that corrective steps can be taken. “Moreover, I am unable to understand as to why BJD leaders are scared of my writings. The party is so strong and popular,” he said.

On Deb’s advice to him to quit the party, Patnaik sought to know as to why he should resign and said the party has the right to take action and suspend.

Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress came out in support of Soumya Patnaik amid scathing attacks by BJD leaders on the Khandapada MLA over the last few days.

Senior BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said Patnaik has the courage to raise his voice at a time when all BJD leaders are behaving like helpless people.

Instead of attacking Patnaik, the BJD leaders including Ministers and MLAs must learn how to maintain self-respect from the legislator, who is highly educated and experienced, she said.

Speaking in same vein, veteran Congress leader and Jatni MLA Suresh Routray said Soumya Patnaik is doing the right thing by pointing out weaknesses in the ruling party and the government.

Being the son-in-law of former Chief Minister late J B Patnaik, Soumya Patnaik would have got everything when Congress was in power, but he never craved for any post.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.