BHUBANESWAR: BJD vice-president and Excise Minister Damodar Rout made his discontentment public again on Monday by refusing to seat on the dais during a meeting of senior party leaders to decide on next course of action on Polavaram and Mahanadi river water issues.
The incident happened before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's arrival at the meeting. All the vice-presidents and general secretaries of the party were on the dais. However, Rout was seen sitting on the front row below the dais.
Rout refused to go to the dais even after vice-president Surya Narayan Patro requested him several times. Rout did not relent even after his Cabinet colleague and party general secretary Debi Prasad Mishra personally went to the place where he was sitting and requested him to share the dais.
The meeting started after the CM's arrival. Though more than 15 leaders addressed the meeting on Polavaram and Mahanadi river water issues, Rout was not invited to speak.
This was not for the first time that the party managers ignored Rout on the issue of Mahanadi river water issue though he represents Paradip constituency in the Assembly.
During the all-party discussion in the last session of the Assembly on Mahanadi river water dispute, Rout was not selected to speak by the BJD.
However, the senior BJD leader clarified that he could not climb on to the dais because of knee problem.