PARADIP: While rivals of former minister and Paradip MLA Damodar Rout clamoured for his ouster before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Capital, thousands of supporters of the senior leader from Kujang and Erasama blocks hit the streets on Tuesday demanding expulsion of BJD’s Jagatsinghpur president Bishnu Das from the party.
Accusing Bishnu of hatching a conspiracy to oust Rout from BJD, the agitators burnt effigies of the former at Kujang Bazaar. Alleging that it was Bishnu who is indulging in anti-party activities, Rout’s supporters said, “The district BJD chief will not be allowed to enter Paradip Assembly segment.”
This incident comes a few hours after Bishnu and Balikuda-Erasama MLA Prashant Muduli met BJD supremo Naveen along with their supporters for the second time in two days demanding Rout’s expulsion from the party. Both the leaders had also approached Naveen on Wednesday seeking disciplinary action against Rout who, they alleged, was indulging in anti-party activities and embarrassing the State Government with his controversial remarks.
Claiming that Rout has support of the public, Kujang block BJD president Chittaranjan Mishra said the people of Paradip Assembly have full faith in the leadership of the MLA who has been representing the area for the last 40 years. “It is Bishnu who was trying to split BJD in the district by unnecessarily interfering in the party affairs of Paradip unit,” he alleged.
Such activities of Bishnu have harassed and demoralised the local BJD workers besides creating fraction in the district unit of the ruling party. “Besides Paradip, Bishnu has also tried to break BJD’s organisation in Tirtol Assembly segment and thereby, is not in good terms with local MLA Rajshree Mallick,” claimed Mishra.
Muduli became MLA with the help and efforts of Rout. But now, he is conspiring against the senior leader after being influenced by Bishnu, alleged another supporter of Rout. “We will meet the CM and demand expulsion of Bishnu from BJD,” he said.
Among others, chairman of Kujang block Smrutiranjan Behera, Sarapanch Bharat Bhusan Nayak, former Zilla Parishad president Sabita Mohapatra and several other leaders were present during the protest.
Meanwhile, in the evening, supporters of Bishnu, under the banner of Kujang BJD SC/ST cell, also staged protest and burnt the effigy of Rout.