Bhubaneswar: In the wake of Kendrapara BJD MP Baijayant Panda and former MLA of Satyabadi in Puri district Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh slamming an IAS officer of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Office, sebior BJP leader and Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today claimed infighting in the ruling BJD party has come to the fore and people will throw it out of power at the next hustings.
“Infighting in the ruling party in Odisha is gradually coming to the fore and the people have decided to reject the BJD Government at the hustings,” Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
Referring to the spate of salvos fired by some BJD leaders and counter attack by ruling party functionaries, he reiterated that the state was witnessing a “constitutional crisis”.
The Union Minister further claimed that the BJD government is “simply passing through its tenure” as per the provision of the Constitution and the people of the state have already made up their mind to usher in a change by ousting the “inactive and inefficient” BJD government in Odisha.
Dharmendra Pradhan was responding to queries on BJD MP Baijayant Panda two days ago who accused an IAS officer in the CMO of interfering in political affairs. The BJD spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP P K Deb hit back at the high-profile Kendrapara MP, once extremely close to BJD supremo and Chief Minister, charging him with “speaking the BJP and Dharmendra Pradhan’s language”.
Announcing his decision to quit the party, BJD leader and former MLA Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh had also alleged that Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik has “become a puppet” in the hands of an officer.
Making a scathing attack against the BJD, Dharmendra Pradhan said there are well defined principles and traditions about roles in a democratic set-up and Odisha has become an exception by deviating from this.
After Baijayant Panda’s allegation on January 11 that an officer in the CMO was interfering in the affairs of BJD, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik on January 12 hit back saying “”When they have no other issues, they attack my office. This is nothing new.”
To this the industrialist-turned politician Baijayant Panda tweeted that even Naveen Patnaik’s father Biju Patnaik was in favour of ‘action against corrupt officers when he was the chief minister. “I’m v.disheartened.
Did Biju Babu also have “no other issues” when he demanded action against corrupt babus?”
Baijayant Panda’s allegation was backed by Dharmendra Pradhan, who claimed in a written statement earlier that the state’s Chief Secretary exists in name and paper only due to intervention from an IAS officer in the CMO.
He had further alleged that a senior minister was recently asked to resign not by the Chief Minister, but by the same officer in the CMO.
BJD leaders including party spokesperson P K Deb had said that Baijayant Panda was speaking the language of Dharmendra Pradhan. “There were glaring similarities in the statements of the BJD MP and the Union Minister.”