BJP has started making inroads into Odisha and the incumbent BJD is feeling the heat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have set their eyes on the coastal state even as BJD is trying to hold onto the power. This is evident after BJD’s chief whip in Lok Sabha Tathagata Satpathy had claimed that “BJP was trying to split his party with the help of another MP.” “BJP hard at work to divide @bjd_odisha in Parliament, maybe even in assembly. They want AIADMK type split… They want to take away @bjd_odisha’s party name & symbol. Rumors afloat that only one MP will swing this deal for them. Ha!” Satpathy said in a series of tweets. Satpathy’s remark drew flak from his fellow BJD MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, according to The Indian Express report.
Panda in a scathing attack, tweeted “He speaks w/ expertise, having once been suspended from BJD & joined another party. I don’t have such experience, so will defer to his…” Notably, Satpathy had been suspended in 2000; he rejoined the party in 2004.
Satpathy also alleged, “If split happens, no matter how small, BJP will try for early elections in Orissa with Raj, Guj, MP. Will EC play along?…” Satpathy tweeted. “BJP National Convention scheduled on 15-16 April in Orissa. PM to attend. Intention to put pressure to make state govt defunct.”
When The Indian Express asked him about his tweets and the MP he was referring to, Satpathy said he would not comment any further. Asked about Panda’s tweets, he said, “Ask him why he is responding when I have not taken anyone’s name.” Panda was not available for comment; a close aide said the MP had already tweeted whatever he had to say, the report said. According to the report, in Bhubaneswar, BJD leader Damodar Rout said the party has several ‘Vibhishans’ who are adept at causing harm from inside.
BJP has been on a collision course with the ruling BJD after the CBI raids on some BJD leaders in connection with the Seashore chit fund scam. While BJD had termed the CBI action as politically motivated, BJP had described a vigilance case on Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s brother Soumendra as political vendetta by the Naveen Patnaik-led-government.
Meawnhile, BJP will hold its two-day national executive meeting in the Odisha capital from April 15, to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party national president Amit Shah, senior leader L K Advani and others.
Announcing this today, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, said, “The Prime Minister will come to Odisha to thank the people for their unprecedented support to the BJP in the recent panchayat polls.”
BJP state president Basant Panda said that the national executive meeting in Odisha will further encourage the party workers and local leaders for the 2019 general elections.
Senior party leader MM Joshi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and other party leaders will also be present at the meeting.
Pradhan said the chief ministers of all the BJP ruled states will attend the meet.
Party in-charge of Odisha Arun Singh and national joint secretary (organisaton) Soudan Singh will visit the state tomorrow to oversee the preparations for the meeting, he said.
(With agency inputs)