BHUBANESWAR: Rumblings in BJD over the Sanjay Dasburma issue continued even after the advice of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to his Ministers not to speak about party matters in public with Excise Minister Damodar Rout on Wednesday targeting BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera.
Stating that Behera is not a minister, Rout asked how could he know something which the Chief Minister said in a Cabinet meeting. Behera on Tuesday had said the Chief Minister had advised all Ministers to speak on matters relating to their departments only and keep away from making statements on party affairs.
However, former minister and spokesperson Pratap Deb reiterated what Behera had said on Tuesday. The advice was not only for Ministers, it was meant for all MPs, MLAs and leaders to maintain discipline in the party, he said.
Naveen had advised the Ministers to deal with matters relating to their respective departments only and leave party matters to spokesperson or the Chief Minister. “The chief minister had asked ministers to consult the leadership if they had anything to speak on party matters,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a significant development, three party spokespersons Pratap Deb, Pratap Jena and Sameer Dash met the Chief Minister in his Secretariat chamber.
Differences are growing in the ruling BJD over the alleged links of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Dasburma with chit fund scam-tainted company Artha Tatwa Group with several senior leaders of the party putting pressure for his ouster. While Congress and BJP have already announced agitations demanding the resignation of the Minister, the BJD leaders have advised Dasburma to respect public opinion.
The gag order from the Chief Minister on party leaders including Ministers has come following the latter’s statements to put pressure on Dasburma to quit by taking moral responsibility.