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Odisha: Ruling BJD on the face of split

 

Monday June 09, 2014

Odisha, Biju Janata Dal, Naveen patnaik, Pyari M Mohapatra  
 

"Pyari’s idea of internal democracy seems to be a stunt only, to most of the BJD leaders of Odisha who are still in BJD and are loyal to Naveen Patnaik. To most like BJD vice-president Dr Damodar Rout, party’s international democracy was in a state of disarray only when Mohapatra was in BJD and exploiting his relationship with Naveen Patnaik."

 

Basudev Mahapatra

 
 

A split in Odisha’s ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has now become evident with Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik finally announced the expulsion of rebel leader and a Member of the upper house of Indian parliament, Rajya Sabha, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra from the party following its State Executive Body meeting held on November 16, 2012 in party’s state office in Bhubaneswar. Mohapatra was suspended from BJD for an alleged coup attempt against Naveen Patnaik on May 29, 2012.

Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, however, didn’t respect the announcement of his expulsion from the party as he didn’t to the verbal announcement by Naveen Patnaik of his suspension as well on pleas that the orders do not follow norms set in party constitution. Terming that the order came from someone who raped the constitution and violated it for more than 2 years and ten months, Pyari rather threatened go to party’s 27 lakh workers and mobilise the workers unhappy with the autocracy of party president.

 

In the meantime Pyari Mohan has started a forum named Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) as an institution to fight for bringing back internal democracy in BJD. OJM has also organised a rally in Bhubaneswar to show its strength and has planned to stage more of such kind in different other parts of Odisha.

But Pyari’s idea of internal democracy seems to be a stunt to most of the BJD leaders of Odisha who are still in BJD and are loyal to Naveen Patnaik. To most like BJD vice-president Dr Damodar Rout, party’s international democracy was in a state of disarray only when Mohapatra was in BJD and exploiting his relationship with Naveen Patnaik. Even, while talking on local TV channel, Dr Rout said that he had to execute some of the uncomfortable orders of Mohapatra and showed the doors out of the party to a few of his colleagues. So, it was Pyari Mohan only who not only destroyed internal democracy in BJD but misused the trust of Naveen Patnaik on him, said Dr Rout.

Also, while talking to media persons after his suspension, Pyari told that he was like a fort around Naveen to protect him from the evils in the party. This clearly meant that Pyari hindered the convergence between Naveen and other party leaders which was against the spirit of democracy in the party.

Most of the political observers are of a similar opinion. They believe, if internal democracy is not there in BJD, it’s because of Pyari who kept Naveen Patnaik unreachable for most other leaders. So, Pyari has fallen in his own trap and his sermon about internal democracy is just because of the discourteous suspension and expulsion from BJD where he used to exercise highest power at one point of time.

The tug-of-war between Pyari Mohan and the so called Naveen loyalists is on. Each tries to place the other at fault. In the fight for discipline at both the end, what looks evident is a split in BJD that would, by and large, benefit the opposition parties.

 
 

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