Bhubaneswar: A day ahead of his scheduled meeting with Union Petroleum and Natural Gas(PNG) Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to be held at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi, Chief Minister Naveen Patanaik’s cabinet minister and BJD Vice President Damodar Rout has expressed his displeasure over the meeting to discuss issues related to Paradip Refinery.
Denouncing the meeting, Damodar Rout said here that the Chief Minister should have instead summoned Dharmendra for a discussion rather than meeting him in Delhi. “Naveen Pattanaik is the CM and he(Dharmendra) is just a Minister of State at the Centre. There is something called a protocol,” Damodar chided in his own style.
He further rubbished,”The State signed the MoU with the Central PSU Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL) and not Dharmendra. Hence, the IOCL authorities should be summoned to the State and questioned about violation of the conditions of the agreement.”
The BJP, which has been projecting Dharmendra Pradan as its Chief ministerial candidate for the 2019 assembly election, in its quick reaction to Damodar’s statement described the Agriculture Minister in Naveen’s cabinet as untrustworthy. “Either the CM does not take him seriously or Damodar does not trust Naveen. Damodar Rout could have advised Naveen Pattanaik personally. But why before the media now? It is only a political gimmick to remain in headlines,” BJP’s general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan said.
Notably, before leaving for Delhi on is five-day tour, the Chief Minister had announced his scheduled programme that includes a meeting with Dharmendra Pradhan to discuss Paradip refinery related issues.