A day after BJD’s Lok Sabha member Tathagata Satpathy created a furore by accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to split the ruling party, another BJD lawmaker, Baijayant Jay Panda, on Tuesday indirectly attacked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saying he failed to stem party corruption. “Many key positions are no longer held by people who struggled for the party, who might have given an honest feedback, but rather by opportunists from various fields, including some who worked against the BJD,” wrote the Biju Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha member from Kendrapada in an article published in an Odia newspaper.
Panda wrote: “The allegations in this period that not just the government but the party too has been run by bureaucrats have been growing louder.” “If we honestly introspect, we must acknowledge that all the above-listed allegations about the political environment in 1997, including widespread corruption and sheltering of powerful people committing criminal acts, are again being made about Odisha in the past three years,” he said.
Panda alleged that the Biju Janata Dal’s founding members who worked in tandem with the founder-President, no longer enjoy the privilege but have been overtaken by opportunists. The Kendrapada MP advised introspection to the party leadership in the wake of rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Odisha.
“Other parties are gaining ground because of their dynamic leadership, and unless the BJD’s founder urgently deals with the issues outlined above, the party will struggle to face these challenges,” said the senior parliamentarian. The article has not gone down well with the party rank and file.
“It was not proper to put party issues out in the open through media. If he realised something wrong in the party, he could have taken up the issue at party forum or approached party President (Patnaik),” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb.
Senior BJD leader and Excise Minister Damodar Rout said Panda should not add fuel to the fire. “He could have gone to the party chief instead of writing articles in media,” said Rout.
On Monday, Panda had engaged in a Twitter war with BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy after Satpathy alleged that one party MP is trying to help the BJP to create rift within the regional party.