BJD Suspends Baijayant Panda from Primary Membership of Party


Bhubaneswar: BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today suspended party's Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda from primary membership of the party.

Baijayant Panda was in the eye of a storm after he attacked bureaucrats in the Chief Minister's Office for "interfering" in BJD politics.

Panda's tiff with Pandian seems to have begun after he was attacked with eggs and stones in May previous year during the inauguration of an overhead water tank at Jatiparilo village in his constituency. Since then, Panda had been indulging in anti-party activities, claimed the BJD. "These are not good signs", he had said.

The release revealed that Patnaik didn't recommend Baijayant for the post of Chairman of Standing Committee on Finance in Lok Sabha despite Panda's plea that he could make it to the post by lobbying. He deputed two senior leaders - Usha Devi and Pramilla Mallick - to look into the complaints. Denying all allegations by calling them "baseless", Panda said, "I'm deeply shocked at this news", CNN-News 18 reported. "One crore, forty five lakhs, twenty seven thousand, seven hundred and forty seven and there has been a huge loan waiver running into thousands of crores to IMFA (previously ICCL) which is still a subject matter of debate". Reacting to his suspension, Panda said he was shocked at the decision of the party.

"MP Jay Panda has never hesitated to criticise the party in Parliament, in the State & his constituency and before media".

The party accused Panda of not campaigning for the party during the PRI (rural) elections and indulging in "anti-party activities supporting opposition candidates".

While on the other hand, more and more leaders of the state echoed the views of Jay Panda on excessive interference of "non-Odia" IAS Officer and CM's private secretary VK Pandian, who was even termed as the second power centre within the party. A 4-time MP, Panda denied the allegations against him, calling it a conspiracy.

State BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said the move was aimed at diverting public attention from the Kunduli tragedy.