Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked senior party leaders to tell him directly their concerns instead of going to media. “If senior leaders have anything negative to say, they should come to me with their concerns and not go to media”, Patnaik told reporters in response to queries about articles by a senior BJD MP that had triggered a row in party. BJD MP Bhatruhari Mahtab had come under sharp attack from senior party leaders for his article five days ago where he indicated infighting in the party. Mahtab was slammed again today for a fresh write-up in which he sought to clarify about what he had written earlier.
While criticising some party leaders for the manner in which they had reacted to his first article, the Lok Sabha member said his fresh write-up aims to clarify things which were blown out of proportions by news channels. Soon after the chief minister asked party leaders to approach him with their views, BJD vice-president Surya Narayan Patro said the party president has made it clear that anything negative should be conveyed to him directly.
The very statement of the chief minister shows that he has found Mahtab’s article “negative”, said Patro, who has asked Mahtab to explain as to how he won Lok Sabha election from Cuttack four-five times if there are cracks in the party. Hitting out at Mahtab, BJD MLA from Barabati-Cuttack, Debasis Samantray sought to know the contribution made by the Cuttack MP during the panchayat elections held in February.
Before coming out with negative views, Mahtab should tell the party about steps taken by him to ensure a good performance in panchayat polls by BJD in Badamba-Narasinghpur which fall under his Lok Sabha constituency, he said. Naveen Patnaik had on April 26 maintained that there was no infighting in BJD. “I do not feel any infighting in the party. Where is infighting?” Patnaik had said while replying questions by reporters.