Calling upon the people of the State to reject the ‘Government of sycophants and bureaucrats’ led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJD rebel Pyarimohan Mohapatra on Sunday alleged that the former has entered into a tacit understanding with the Congress at the Centre to bail each other out after the coal scam came to the fore.
Addressing the first rally of the Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) at Lower PMG square here, Pyari criticised Naveen for calling the Morcha a ‘B’ team of the Congress, saying it is not an appendage to any political party. “It is he (Naveen) who has struck a deal with the Congress,” Pyari, the erstwhile adviser-turned-foe of Naveen, said.
Thanking those who attended the rally despite all measures taken by the BJD ministers and MLAs to stop people from reaching the venue, the BJD rebel said there are people who will count the numbers. “But it is courage shown by you which is important.” The undesirable elements in the BJD will quit on their own after the membership of the Morcha reaches 25 lakh within the next four to five months, he said.
Police, Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) and Motor Vehicle Inspectors (MVIs) were used at many places to threaten vehicle owners not to ferry workers to the rally. The slum-dwellers in the capital city were also threatened that they would not be given free house if they attended the Morcha rally, Pyari charged.
Stating that the aim of the Morcha is to bring supremacy of the workers and democracy to the regional outfit, the Rajya Sabha member alleged that there are people in the party who have turned it into a business.
Pyari alleged that the stand on Central neglect of Odisha propagated by Naveen is only a facade as he has never raised his voice against injustice done to the State despite several requests.
“Several times I had requested him to demand 50 per cent royalty on minerals, but he ignored the advice.” Only last year, Naveen demanded 20 per cent royalty, but there has been no opposition even after the Centre fixed it at 10 per cent, he said.
Criticising the Chief Minister for ‘flouting’ the constitution of the party, Pyari said Naveen is no longer the president of the BJD as he has not called a meeting of the State executive for the last one and a half years. Naveen was elected BJD president by the State council on January 10, 2010, but did not call the State executive after that to ratify it. The Political Affairs Committee and Disciplinary Committee have also not been formed.
Addressing the rally, OJM vice-chairman Rajendra Singh alleged that ‘goondas’ engaged by the ruling party MLAs damaged several vehicles transporting workers to the rally. Morcha workers were beaten up at Binjharpur and Pipili, he said.
Morcha chief spokesman Jagneswar Babu and several others also addressed the rally.