‘Oust Rout’ cry intensifies, ex-Minister unrelenting
BHUBANESWAR: The demand for disciplinary action against senior BJD leader Damodar Rout intensified with a large number workers and leaders of the party from Jagatsinghpur district, who met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, levelling charges of anti-party activities against him.
However, the former minister, who has embarrassed the ruling party by raising scams in different sectors during the last several days, remained unrelenting and said he is not in the BJD. “I was dropped from the ministry and removed from all party posts. What more action can they take against me,” he said.
Naveen had removed Rout from his ministry last year for his derogatory remarks against the Brahmin community. The four-time minister, once a confidant of former chief minister Biju Patnaik, has not been able to complete any of his terms due to various reasons.
Rout, however, refuted the allegations against him and said the Chief Minister is aware of his activities and people of his constituency backed him.
The BJD was formed with Biju Patnaik’s ideology, Rout said and added now it is being run by one officer and three MLAs. Rout even named the MLAs as Pranab Prakash Das, Arun Sahu and Debasis Samantray.
BJD MLA from Balikuda-Erasama Prashant Muduli, who visited Naveen Nivas here in the morning along with the party’s Jagatsinghpur district president Bishnu Das and other workers, accused Rout of making anti-party statements and hobnobbing with Congress and BJP leaders in the area.
“While some submitted written complaints to the BJD president, others conveyed their grievances verbally, demanding Rout’s expulsion from the party,” Muduli said.
The Chief Minister, who left for a three-day visit to New Delhi on the day, told mediapersons that he would look into the allegations. “A number of party workers have approached me with their complaints against Rout. I have promised to look into the matter,” he said.
Both Muduli and Das alleged that Rout invited BJP and Congress leaders to a recently held public meeting at Erasama by ignoring BJD leaders of the area.