BHUBANESWAR:Even as expulsion of former minister Damodar Rout from Biju Janata Dal evoked no response from the party leaders, the senior lawmaker launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for getting rid of Biju Patnaik’s loyalists one after another.
The Chief Minister, however, dismissed the remarks against him by Rout as ‘ridiculous’. “Dama babu has been making irresponsible statements. His allegations are ridiculous,” Naveen said after his return from New Delhi. On Wednesday night, Naveen had expelled the seven-time MLA from the party on charges of anti-party activities.
Naveen also made light of speculations over formation a new political outfit and said it will have no impact. “It is their business. But a new political party will have no impact on the political scenario of the State,” he said. The meeting between former BJD leader Baijayant Panda and Rout at the latter’s residence had stirred speculations about formation of a new political party. However, as the day advanced, there seemed to be no development in this regard. The two leaders met for about 20 minutes.
Launching a direct attack on Naveen, Rout said the BJD president changed the party’s ideology to safeguard his political interest, which is contrary to the ideals of his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik.
“A section of BJD leaders are now looting Odisha in the name of Biju Patnaik. This must be hurting the soul of the legendary leader. It will be good for the people of Odisha if the Chief Minister is unseated at the earliest,” he said. Rout had embarrassed the BJD by raising allegations of corruption in agriculture and cooperation departments. He also alleged that an officer, whom he described as the Godfather, and three MLAs are now running the BJD.
The 75-year-old Rout dismissed any possibility of joining either the Congress or the BJP or even the Left parties following his expulsion from the BJD. However, he did not make it clear if he has plans to float a new political outfit ahead of the elections.
“I can assure you that I am not joining the Congress, BJP or Left parties. However, I will contest next elections as the people of Paradip want me to,” Rout said and added, “I will reveal next course of action in the days ahead.”
Meanwhile, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said expulsion of Rout from the BJD is an internal matter. But, the allegations of scams made by Rout should be probed and truth must come out. “Let the Government say that Rout’s allegations are false,” he said.