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Odisha: Pyari ridiculed Naveen as Incapable, Corrupt and a Despot  

Monday June 09, 2014

ODISHA JANA MORCHA, BIJU JANATA DAL, NAVEEN PATNAIK, PYARI MOHAN MOHAPATRA  
 

"In last 12 years, Naveen patnaik couldn’t even learn Odia language for which he faced criticism from his sister Gita Mehta. Naveen couldn’t work upto the dreams of Biju Patnaik but shattered the dreams of Biju Babu by closing down Orissa Textile Mills (OTM) which was once the identity of Odisha in Indian textile market.

 

Basudev Mahapatra

 
 

The Kranti Samavesh rally of Odisha Jana Morcha – forum declared by the dissident faction of Odisha’s ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) – has been partly successful in achieving its preliminary goals like showing its strength by drawing a relatively good size of crowd, raising the issue of internal democracy in the Party, and challenging the leadership of Naveen Patnaik in the party.

While addressing the rally held in Bhubaneswar on October 28, 2012, bureaucrat turned politician and leader of the forum Pyari Mohan Mohapatra – Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha once believed to be the second power centre of BJD – came with sharp criticism to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik terming him as incapable, corrupt and a despot.

 

‘In last 12 years, he couldn’t even learn Odia language for which he faced criticism from his sister Gita Mehta,’ said Mohapatra adding that ‘Naveen couldn’t work upto the dreams of Biju Patnaik but shattered the dreams of Biju Babu by closing down Orissa Textile Mills (OTM) which was once the identity of Odisha in Indian textile market.’

Mohapatra and other leaders of the forum, who shared dais with him, also said that Naveen Patnaik has not fulfilled any of the promises the party made in its manifesto during 2009 elections. ‘Chief Minister badly failed in addressing the problem of unemployment. Instead, many earning members became jobless because of closure of industries like OTM,’ said Pyari Mohan Mohapatra.

While questioning Naveen Patnaik’s regards for the party constitution, Mohapatra said that ‘He (Naveen) has not even bothered to call a meeting of the party executive body and validate his presidentship’.

Pyari Mohan even held Naveen Patnaik guilty in the coalgate scam saying that ‘he (Naveen) has made a deal with Congress at the centre to escape the wrath of investigation.’

Chief Minister and leader of BJD, Naveen Patnaik – who suspended Pyari Mohan and some of his supporters for the alleged coup attempt on May 29 this year – rubbished all the allegations before he left for Delhi.

Most of the issues raised by Pyari Mohan are not new. But raising them in a forum that claims itself to be very much a part of BJD means different.

First, with the size of crowd it attracted, the rally can not be ignored by Naveen Patnaik and his supporters in the BJD party. Second, the party and its leaders may have to struggle hard to come out of the fear of a split, which seems quite evident sooner rather than later because OJM leader has announced in the rally to gather 25 lakhs of members in coming 4-5 months. The rally would also encourage more members in the party to raise voice against the leadership in case of any kind of injustice or negligence.

Though, at the moment, it's difficult to say what benefits are going to be reaped by Pyari and his Odisha Jana Morcha, growing dissidence and a split in the party may drive the party and Naveen Pattnaik to the fate of his father Biju Patnaik in the 1995 elections. The impacts of OJM in Odisha politics would, however, become a little clear in the urban elections to be held in early 2013.

 
 

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