In a shocking incident in Kendrapara, Odisha, an egg was thrown at senior BJD leader Jay Panda allegedly by supporters of party’s MLA Pratap Jena. The egg hit Panda in the face, but did not cause any injury. Jena’s supporters were claiming that Panda did not call the MLA for a water tank inauguration event. However, in his statement, Panda said that the allegations were false. He added that a plaque that was broken had names of local MLA and officials. He added, “I have always ensured they are invited.” Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is the ruling party in Odisha under the chief ministership of Naveen Patnaik.
Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik had recently sacked Baijayant Panda from the post of party parliamentary spokesperson. The removal came two months after Patnaik called for introspection within the party following its poor performance in the panchayat elections in the state. The Chief Minister had noted that the party had been taken over by opportunists, according to an Indian Express report.
Patnaik replaced Panda with Pratap Deb, a former minister from Kendrapara. Kendrapara is the Lok Sabha constituency of Jay Panda. Panda as per an Indian Express report had said that he had accepted the decision of the party.
According to the Indian Express, Baijayant Panda was sacked due to his reportedly growing proximity to the opposition BJP. Commenting on the tribal leader and former BJD MP Jayram Pangi’s switch to the BJP, Panda had tweeted that, ”One minister had gone yesterday and one has gone today, I had cautioned the party last week and was contradicted. now sections are unrepresented”.